Location: Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Collab: Urban - Think Tank

Facundo Arboit
Emma Sofie Sø

How does one create a sense of belonging for a community that has been systematically displaced over and over throughout several generations?

How do one heal severed links between different races after a wrongful political system has been reconciled?

Kayelitsha is a partially-informal township in Western Cape, South Africa, on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town and reputed to be the largest and fastest-growing township in South Africa. Unofficial estimates of people living in Kayelitsha vary between 750 000 to 2 million, Kayelitsha comprises 38.71 km2 and runs for a number of kilometres along the N2 highway.

Established in 2001, MIAGI, “Music is a great Investment” is a not for profit based in South Africa offers a wide range of educational opportunities equipping young South Africans to advance their life prospects. The path proposed by MIAGI is to offer a platform for inter-cultural creative dialogue, which will bring young people, artists and audiences together that would otherwise never meet. MIAGI aims “To unite the power of classical, indigenous and jazz [music and culture] and thus offer a key to positive social development and a deeper understanding between people across all borders.”

In our approach for an architectural solution to house this deeply meaningful initiative we decided to find a crossroads between vernacular architectural solutions belonging to a mostly Xhosa displaced population and a European artistic legacy that will create a renewed sense of a unified cultural fabric. In order to materialize this heterogeneous conceptual currents, we searched for common iconic archetypal spaces to work as a cultural interface. This approach will create a solid foundation on which to build a renewed culture of innovation.

Therefore, our intention is a fusion of imagery between Circular Globe theatres and the circular geometry largely prevalent in the South African Traditional Ndebele huts. All three auditoriums, will have a circular form and will be able to merge together with the slightly asymmetric arrangement forming a Grand Theatre functioning as a performance venue with a centre stage.

The Arts complex will have three auditoriums and the reception hall all positioned around an elevated space for daily community functions such as social activities and improvised music showcases.