Extending an abandoned freeway overpass with a lightweight steel and timber bridge spanning an impassable commuter street makes it possible in the course of everyday life for people to benefit from an urban system that was previously very difficult to access. Connectivity is an essential economic, social and cultural enabler.
In a thoroughly consultative process, relocating marginalised and dispersed traditional medicine trading to this new intensely used movement route enabled the convenient provision of goods and services to consumers that, as a consequence also catalysed massive broad-based economic activity.
The light steel and timber bridge is a hybrid of industrialised fabrication associated with a harbour city and the starkly contrasting rural reality of the majority of the city’s population who maintain a strong lived connection between the two.
Its hybrid fabricated/botanical reference recognises the extraordinary contrast and fluidity of these simultaneous identities. Immediately adjacent to the city’s main multi-nodal transport interchange, the structure physically and symbolically provides a place of calm and respite in the urban jungle as a tree does in a vast savannah landscape.
Warwick Junction, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Public, Mixed-use, Retail