South African-inspired architectural designs in honour of Heritage Day
You don't have to travel to far-flung destinations in order to see great architectural wonders. In fact, South Africa is home to some of the most beautiful and unique architectural designs in the world. These designs take inspiration from a myriad of sources; however, they often, in some small (or large) way, pay homage to their South African roots. Our country is a melting pot of rich and diverse cultures and beliefs, which all come together to form our Rainbow Nation. On the 24th of September, we celebrate Heritage Day and, in honour of our South African heritage, we're looking five amazing architectural design masterpieces that have in some way been inspired by South Africa.
uMkhumbane Museum (by Choromanski Architects) is situated in the township of Cato Manor, near Durban. Cato Manor was one of the largest 'forced removal' sites in South Africa during the Apartheid regime and the museum serves to preserves the culture and showcase the globally significant history of the township's people. The building's design incorporates South African elements, such as including an outer layer of clay, which is reminiscent of traditional huts.
//hapo - Freedom Park
//hapo, the museum located at the foot of The Freedom Park in Pretoria, is a heritage destination that explores the history of Africa and which was built to promote reconciliation and nation-building. The museum's architecture is inspired by a myriad of African elements, including a path which spirals up the hill, stringing together 'garden' spaces like beads on a necklace. The reddish-hued building is can be compared to an outcrop of rocks which is meant to signify the resilience of our country in the face of adversity.
The Bosjes Chapel in the Western Cape was designed by Studio Steyn. The strikingly beautiful chapel clearly takes inspiration from its South African home as it was designed to emulate the silhouette of the mountain ranges that surround it. The design of the chapel also pays tribute to the historical and distinctive Cape Dutch colonial architecture style which has featured so prevalently in our country's architectural history.
South African Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The African-inspired design of the Embassy (by MMA Architects) pays homage to both South African and Ethiopian heritage. The building is characterised by its exquisite "silver veil", a stainless-steel mesh cover which honours the Embassy's South African roots by featuring extraordinarily detailed pop riveted depictions of traditional Khoisan rock art.
Perhaps the most well-known addition to this list, Soccer City or FNB Stadium, was built as one of the stadiums which would host matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The unmissable structure honours South African heritage by taking its design inspiration from a calabash, which is a traditional African pot that is often made from gourds.
South Africa's rich culture and diversity makes it the perfect muse for people seeking inspiration in their designs, be it for their art, architecture or interior designs.
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