The Market Square
KMH Architects cc - South Africa
Drawings, plans, elevations
THE MARKET SQUARE FACILITY The Market Theatre founded in Johannesburg in 1976 was constructed out of Johannesburg’s Indian Fruit Market built in 1913. Historically the Market Theatre Foundation (MTF) was accommodated throughout downtown Johannesburg CBD, known as Newtown. The various departments of The Market Theatre Foundation, performance theatre rehearsal, photographic, exhibition and performance spaces were originally accommodated at different spaces within the city and the new brief called for a consolidated facility that creates a positive connection to Mary Fitzgerald Square, re-use and repurpose the existing heritage protected fabric, and unify the various buildings into a arts and performance precinct of buildings that enhances and promotes the public’s interface and interaction with the MTF which intends to solidify its role and presence in the Newtown Cultural Precinct thus becoming a draw card for students, patrons and general arts enthusiasts. The MTF acquired a prominent site in Newtown, Johannesburg, to develop new premises for themselves including the three business units: Market Laboratory, Market Photo Workshop (MPW), Production and general administration office for corporate services. KMH Architects’ design recognized the site’s existing building fabric and used these structures as a device to create spaces that would relate appropriately in scale to the square and surrounding buildings. It was designed to express sensitively the tectonics of the robust urban Johannesburg aesthetic with a strong focus on public interface and allowing Mary Fitzgerald Square to engage with the inner courtyards of the building. The development promotes a regionalist approach to the design and embraces multi-functionality and adaptive re-use principles to evolve with the artistic performances of the theatre and photographic schools thus providing a development that rejuvenates a derelict part of Johannesburg and provides a focal point of theatre and the associated institutions of theatre. The development tackles issues of Apartheid Colonial heritage in the form of the single storey ’SCHLOM HOUSE’ which is the only remaining example of migrant eating house in South Africa. Even though the building is architecturally insignificant, it remains with a rich history and ‘dark’ past that was retained within the new development and redeveloped into a theatre and photographic archive and library. The five building development making up the theatre complex promotes a high level of visibility between spaces and programmes to maximize the potential for public interaction and collaboration with the arts in the form of rehearsal spaces, gallery and performance spaces being extroverted and located on the site’s street edges. The entire development explores what Theatre is in a post-apartheid city. By funneling circulation through the hub, the building allows for moments of inspiration and chance meeting, integral to the creative process.
3 word address features
Intergrating existing abandoned heritage buildings with new functions. Triple volume foyer space Combination of Theatre production, performance and teaching spaces Heirarchy of public and private courtyards Panoramic views of the city are captured at strategic locations as an orientation device of the city. Achieved with glazed ramp landings, terrace spaces and strategically framed views from with the building. A photographic school with Lecture auditorium, studio space, photo processing, work rooms and converted heritage building.. Gallery exhibition and archive research spaces