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Critical Regionalism

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Design elements


The lighting of the building was inspired by the traditional African craft of basket-weaving from the rural villages of South Africa. The light touches the materials ever so slightly showing the texture of the exposed materials. The materials selected were selected because of the ability to communicate the traditional methods of space making by implementing contemporary design methods. The craft of weaving and basket making is taken out of its context and reinterpreted in the setting.


Using the theme of materiality. The Staircases and doors resemble the craft of weaving and this is showcased by the way they were used in their aesthetics. The doors are decorated with traditional emblems like traditional architecture. The visual interaction with the building is furthermore explored with the use of colours that represent the South African flag.


The careful study and appreciation of provincial traditions and cultures has had a clear and positive impact on the built form. The effects of this are not only felt at a visual level but can also impact the feeling users get inside the building. The ability to feel traditions through space have created majestic architecture through the years. A form of architecture that has always existed but has only recently been realized of the potential it bares for not only narrating the past but to benefit the future as well, it is wide spread, though controversial topic it has clear implications on the social, psychological and physical development of societies.

There are lessons to be learned from an architecture that has such a strong identity and does no shy to state its intentions, though the regional built form is built to blend in, it would be a mistake to underestimate how further it can take the positive social implications it can have in modern culture. The relationships that manifest between the building envelope and the interior spaces give the spaces character. This is common among the buildings that I have looked it. The use of locally sourced material does not only serve an economic function but serve to ground the building in its roots down to the site that suit only itself. This creates a unique architecture that even though lacks the universal principles arguments can state that this is what makes it better. These buildings hold a deeper meaning in their inception that often advertise generations of crafting in the making.

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Critical Regionalism. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
“Critical Regionalism.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2019,
Critical Regionalism. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Oct. 2021].
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