We were tasked with designing an interactive and educational facility that would welcome engagement from the community, described as ‘not just a building, and not just a playground’. A residential building existed on the site, which I found to have latent potential that could be harnessed by subtle alterations and additions. However, the outdoor space needed to be transformed. Looking towards Archigram’s inflatable dwellings and Frei Otto’s lightweight structures for inspiration, I saw an opportunity in designing something that would jump out of its conservative context, subverting conventional notions of a museum as a sterile container.

(above) Plan diagram showing overlapping zones of use.

(above) Context Plan

I defined four key objectives/themes in response to the brief: 1) Childhood + Adulthood: embrace tensions between creative innocence and rationality, responding to childhood memories as the driver for an architectural enquiry. 2) Non-linear Narrative: user defined pathways that begin at an event and end at the beginning. 3) A House in a Museum: bring awareness to Western derived constructs of the home by objectifying the existing residential building as ‘part of’ the exhibition. 4) Gather the Community: grow through activity rather than fixed infrastructure, inspired by tent structures seen in Khayelitsha. 

(above) Entrance Elevation (top), and Longitudinal Section.

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