uMkhumbane Museum

Africa Architecture Award 2017 - Grand Prix Winner Durban / South Africa / 2017

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Situated 7 km from Durban’s CBD, Cato Manor experiences various complex challenges facing former townships – many of which are continuations of the systemic injustice of South Africa’s past. As one of the world’s largest forced removal sites, Umkhumbane is iconically remembered for being the most vibrant and diverse community in Durban during a time characterised by separation. Numerous accounts of this community express its richness, injustice, violence, protest, pain and beauty. Most powerfully, the stories of everyday realities: local nicknames, means of getting ‘forbidden liquor’ and friendships across racial lines tell of the strength of people to momentarily live outside the limits of political machines and the abstract city created by apartheid. eThekwini Municipality identified Cato Manor as an ideal location to develop the “uMkhumbane Museum ”, to preserve the rich cultural and political history and stimulate innovation. It provides the opportunity for contemporary culture and powerful heritage to converge, serving as a tool for social, economic and ecological regeneration. As part of a broader urban strategy, the site seeks to activate and network various cultural nodes within the community of Cato Manor through community involvement, local artists and leaders. The site at the confluence of two major arterials is crossed by the uMkhumbane River and included in the Durban Metropolitan Open Space System. It is in close proximity to residential areas, businesses and on the University of KwaZulu-Natal land. It is also significant as it was chosen by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for the reinternment his mother Queen Thomozile Jezangani Ka Ndwandwe Zulu. The Queen lived in Mayville as a domestic worker in her later life and was recently found in a mass grave in Mayville. She became a muse to the Museum, and her contrasting life story is now honoured in traditional Zulu ceremony and contemporary architectural expression. The master plan includes the following: This node uses the idea of communal space to connect diverse people through open access to public services, by decentralizing cultural nodes. • a cultural park and public square; • galleries for permanent collection on forced removals, focusing on the struggle by women and children and temporary collections; • dedicated space for community exhibitions; • gathering areas for oral, performance, installation exhibits; • social gathering areas for functions, eg. book launches, festivals (film, writers, poetry, dance, music) • concession areas including traders market stalls, • theatre as multipurpose space, • children’ innovative facilities, • tour routes through the community and surroundings areas, extending the innovative entrepreneur spirit from the “uMkhumbane Museum Site ” through Cato Manor and Surrounding areas The urban strategy aims to use technology and public space innovatively to access, network and enhance the culture, serving as a tool for community members to leverage in the co-creation of today’s Umkhumbane Culture. The stories of Umkhumbane in the 1940s were example of diversity and community during apartheid. Cato Manor today could provide much needed stories of regeneration and redress in South Africa.


Funders / Donors:
eThekwini Municipality
University of KwaZulu Natal
National Lottery
Durban Local History Museum
Department of Education
Department of Arts and Culture, KwaZulu Natal


Client Body:
eThekwini Municipality
Parks Recreation & Culture Unit, Ethekwini Municipality
Durban Local History Museum
Cato Manor Area Based Management 


Professional Team
Architect - Choromanski Architects, Rod Choromanski 031 303 2985
Principal Agent - Ian Rout & Associates, Ian Rout, 082 414 3846
Quantity Surveyor - Edgecombe Hayes-Hill, Ian Hayes-Hill, 031 566 2977 & Altak Africa, Allan Govender, 031 202 0020
Structural Engineer - LSC Brunette, Sada Naidu, 031 266 8118
Civil Engineer - Eyethu Engineers, Nirvana Loutan, 031 303 7630
Electrical Engineer - Igoda Projects, Lihle Ngcobo, 031 536 7300
Mechanical Engineer - Parsons&Lumsden, Nigel King, 031 764 7727
Fire Engineer - Parsons&Lumsden, Dave Knight, 031 764 0779
Facade Engineer (Screen) - Linda Ness Associates, Linda Ness, 031 572 4153
Environmental Consultant - NS Environmental, Nishal Sewruttan, 031 502 1822


Contractor
EMB Group, Marshall Govender / Elias Mechanicos, 031 569 5415 


Sub-Contractors
Ceiling - KZN Timbers and Ceilings, Shaamlin Govender, 031 705 5179
Ceiling - Extreme Facades, Jan Barnard, 072 219 7755
Structural Steel - Shesha Engineering, Kruban Pillay, 031 500 6534
Steelwork - CV Steel, Vivian Perumal, 031 539 3253
Aluminum Screen - Hampsons Interiors/Facade Solutions, Ken Lloyd, 031 569 5024
Electrical -KSN Electrical, 031 563 1620
Mechanical AmaKhaza Moia, 031 205 9118
Fire Services - Fire Check 031 579 1340

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    Situated 7 km from Durban’s CBD, Cato Manor experiences various complex challenges facing former townships – many of which are continuations of the systemic injustice of South Africa’s past. As one of the world’s largest forced removal sites, Umkhumbane is iconically remembered for being the most vibrant and diverse community in Durban during a time characterised by separation. Numerous accounts of this community express its richness, injustice, violence, protest, pain...

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