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Design and construction of the Mapungubwe National Park Interpretive Centre, South Africa

Ramage M., Ochsendorf J., Rich P., Bellamy J. and Block P.
Journal of the African Technology Development Forum (ATDF)
2010

The Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre in South Africa uses novel design and construction techniques to allow local materials and labour to be used in production. The project is developed for labour-intensive construction to enable poverty relief and skills transfer into the sur-rounding area. Form-finding based on equilibrium thrust line analysis allows the design of thin unreinforced ma-sonry shells that act in pure compression. Digital models let us translate advanced geometry into simple guides for construction. Traditional tile vaulting, using locally-made, pressed soil-cement tiles, allows the complex shapes to be built by newly trained workers without ex-tensive formwork. A hands-on programme of design and construction suggests a new way to jointly manage archi-tecture and development programs. This merging of novel structural geometry with traditional materials and craft has resulted in a new interpretation centre for a trans-frontier national park in South Africa.

BibTeX

@article{Ramage2010,
    author  = "Ramage, M. and Ochsendorf, J. and Rich, P. and Bellamy, J. and Block, P.",
    title   = "Design and construction of the Mapungubwe National Park Interpretive Centre, South Africa",
    journal = "Journal of the African Technology Development Forum (ATDF)",
    year    = "2010",
    volume  = "7",
    number  = "1",
    pages   = "14-23",
    month   = "October",
    doi     = "",
    note    = "",
}

Related publications

Block P.Editorial: Design revolution in architecture and its impact on development,Journal of the African Technology Development Forum (ATDF),7(1),2010.
Block P., DeJong M., Davis L. and Ochsendorf J.Tile vaulted systems for low-cost construction in Africa,Journal of the African Technology Development Forum (ATDF),7(1): 4-13,2010 (October).
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