Title page for ETD etd-11262003-153556

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Smit, Nicolaas H
Email nh_smit@yahoo.co.uk
URN etd-11262003-153556
Document Title Interpretation Centre
Degree MArch (Prof)
Department Architecture
Advisor Name Title
Mr R van Rensburg
  • exhibition
  • Interpretation Centre
  • cradle of mankind
  • visitor centre
  • tourism
Date 2003-11-26
Availability unrestricted
The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site covers an area of over 47000 hectares in the north-western corner of Gauteng, straddling the boundary between Gauteng and North West provinces. The area is of outstanding universal value as it contains a complex of palaeontological and palaeo anthropological sites which have yielded some of the most valuable evidence worldwide of the origins of modern humans.

Embedded in the rocks found in the numerous dolomitic caves in the area are the fossilised remains of hominids, their lithicultural remains and fossils of other plants, animals and pollen. These give a complete picture of the hominids and their surroundings dating back over 3.3 million years. The richness and variety of these deposits, their excellent preservation in the caves, and the age of the specimens, make this area of world significance.

The aim of this dissertation is the development of an architectural product that aids interpretation of the meanings and values inherent in the COH WHS and its context. The design approach is rational and simplicity is explored in order to develop the building as communication medium and introduction to the context.

By its design, the building becomes an unobtrusive line in the landscape, focusing attention on the natural setting and exposing visitors to the unique character of this heritage site.

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