Freedom Of Movement Is A Profound Experience For Those Who Suffered The Restrictions Of Apartheid

tory views of apartheid. It is also a place of tension where visitors are not sure what reality they will confront in the next memory box. "During apartheid, there was this weird daily normalcy," says Noero. "But it was a fragile cover for the underlying tension and sense of impending doom that was everywhere. One never knew what would happen next."

Noero Wolff's design makes an intriguing contribution to the international debate on the nature of museums that take on humanity's darkest episodes. Most South Africans acknowledge there is no single truth about apartheid, only myriad perspectives. So instead of funneling visitors through a single narrative history, the grid of memory boxes lets the array of discrete stories accumulate, like memory, into a fragmented, imperfect sense of the past. The freedom of movement and choice of engagement offers a profound experience for those who suffered through the decades of pass laws that stipulated where nonwhite South Africans could be and when.

Emerging from the museum's twilight interior, the visitor encounters once again the life of the town: laundry fluttering on improvised drying lines, teenagers hanging out, and children using the new bus shelter as a jungle gym. Their laughter brings home the underlying story of this first piece of civic architecture in New Brighton: These children have been born into a nonracist democracy. Their future was secured by the unrelenting sacrifices of their parents and grandparents. Through its architecture, the Red Location Museum contains and conveys this simultaneously somber and joyful truth. ■


Galvanized structural steel:

Mittal Steel

Concrete block: Deranco Blocks Timber flooring: Tsitsikamma Pine Honed slate tiles: Mazista

Painted timber paneling: Supawood

For more information on this project, go to Projects at

A grid of 12 tall rooms stand as somber containers inside the museum. Each of these 15-foot-square "memory boxes" presents a different perspective on apartheid, so together they show that history contains many different views.

The signature design element of the project is a screen made of timber spines that fan upward from nearly horizontal to fully verti cal, which frames the split form of the chancellery building. Made from indigenous jarrah wood, it creates a striking entry to the campus and an iconic statement for the city altogether.

With its thorny reptilian crown, fjmt's new

CHANCELLERY BUILDING AND BUSINESS SCHOOL puts the Joondalup campus of Edith Cowan University on the map





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