PLACE FOR STORIES, DANIELSKUIL, NORTHERN CAPE, 2018
Acknowledging the diversity of cultural narratives that have intersected in South Africa’s arid Northern Cape province, this architectural proposal is a celebration of an ancient, archaeological landscape; a land rich in stories – and multiple perspectives.
The proposal is located in the vicinity of a small dolomitic sinkhole with a depth of approximately six metres. Reminiscent of the biblical ‘Daniel in the lions’ den’ (Afrikaans: kuil, ‘hole’, ‘pit’) the sinkhole is said to have been used as a prison by the famous Griqua leader, Adam Kok in the mid-1800’s and gave rise to the name of the small nearby settlement, Danielskuil.
The project, a gathering space, consists of two primary components: a simple, flat circular clearing on the ground and a large shade canopy, reminiscent of the acacia tree copses that dot the arid landscape. The material palette of stone, gumpoles and reeds are readily available and the building technology is deliberately low-tech for ease of build-ability for community engagement, cost-effectiveness, maintenance and context sensitivity.