15 October 2019

South Africa: how resilient is our heritage?

A collaborative workshop was organised on the redevelopment of built heritage in Cape Town.

The photograph shows the South African Broadcasting Company, one of the case studies of the workshop (photo: Jean-Paul Corten).

This September the University Cape Town (School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) organised a joint workshop for students and professionals on the redevelopment of built heritage of a burdened past, based on seven cases in and around Cape Town. These were: the Lion Battery, the former Christiaan Barnard Hospital, the Three Arts Theatre, the Judge Clothing and Cavalla Cigarette factories, an inner-city Block in Plein Street, the Orca oil platform and the SABC Building in Seapoint.

The Dutch architectural firm Braaksma & Roos participated in the workshop on the invitation of the RCE. At the end of the week, the results were discussed with the local stakeholders during a lively panel debate.

Promoting dialogue about dealing with built heritage

For the occasion, the exhibition "Reuse, Redevelop and Design. How the Dutch Deal with Heritage" was shown at the Cape Institute for Architecture. The exhibition was opened by the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria during the week of the workshop. And it will remain on show during the "Co-create My City" event that will take place in November, which is supported by the Netherlands Consulate-General in Cape Town. South Africa represents the sixth partner country where the exhibition is shown. The intention is to promote dialogue on how to deal with built heritage in a changing society. The exhibition along with the book of the same name was previously presented in Brazil, Suriname, Russia, Sri Lanka and Japan.