Durban Buildings & Architecture
The contemporary period In South Africa began with the country’s peaceful transition to democracy in 1994 when the late Nelson Mandela was installed as the head of a government of national unity. These were euphoric times - but as the country was re-admitted to the international community, the challenge at home was to reconstruct, develop and reflect the values enshrined in the country’s newly written constitution. In 2001, the municipality of eThekwini came into being, incorporating the existing city of Durban and its suburbs as well as the surrounding towns and townships. Substantial development was needed in terms of health, education, transport, welfare, housing (where architects have been largely excluded) and urban renewal. At the same time, architecture could no longer be viewed simply as the result of functional planning, economic considerations and sound construction. Other factors, such as the racial transformation of the profession and its associated industries, had to be considered. Additionally, new buildings had to be energy efficient, sustainable and green. But, as is always the case, the best buildings remain those which are both self-possessed and integrated with their contexts.
Researcher: Prof. Walter Peters
Photographer(s): Angela BucklandRoger JardineDennis GuichardAndrew GriffinKarl BeathGeorge ElphickDennis GilbertArup Interchange Design Group
Contributor(s): Lindsay Napier