Parco della Rimembranza Pretoria

Inserito da il 11 Marzo 2003



The Pretoria Freedom Park design is based on a single public path as a representation of the landscape surrounding the town. At the same time this public path hosts the whole complexity of the functional program and it offers a unique answer to the design process.

From here comes the choice to refer oneself to the image of a sort of original landscape from which architecture has its origins and of which architecture itself becomes a metaphor.

The path is constituted by a continuous plain that, with its own image, synthesizes the relation complexity that the proposed design establishes with the site. The path changes itself in all of its development and gives form to the main brief requirements.


The administration buildings are located at the base of the Salvokop Hill, at the main entrance to the precinct and indicate the beginning of the path. In this zone, the buildings are arranged so to create a reception area.

In order to avoid problems due to visitors flow, the public offices (TOURIST, RESERVATION, INFORMATION OFFICE )  are collocated on the main path ground level. While the Freedom Park management offices are placed on the upper levels.

The buildings simple volumes are connected by the path element that, curving and revolving on itself, becomes a façade. In this way the total system obtains a unique imagery.

The slight detachment between the vertical planes of both the buildings than the path create a double-façade-system, that allows at the same time air and light distribution.


The museum building represents the second stop of the designed path and it is the start point for the experiential tour throughout the high level of the Salvokop hill. The building is hypogeal so to establish a ceaseless image through the architectonical system, defining itself the same as a path. From the foyer level , where the bookshop and cafeteria are located, and throughout the different thematic museum areas, it is possible to reach the Memorial. In this way the visitor is enabled to cross, both physically than emotionally, the different stages of art and cultural history of South Africa, reaching light after darkness, future after past.

Above the intersection point of the different museum areas, shafts arise and extend throughout all of the floors. Each of these voids is dedicated to one of the three main themes (pre-colonial, struggle history, post-apartheid). Furthermore these empty spaces ,or “canon lumière”, are illuminated by daylight that passes through the slim spaces of opaque glass that constitutes their vertical faces, so to excite an extremely compelling effect on anyone who experiences it.

The connection between the museum and the memorial is made possible through a resolute upwards folding of the hypogeal structure. Through an internal zigzag configuration it outlines the shift towards the post-apartheid, opening towards the future, the light, the city space that is developing around Salvokop.

On the other hand, there is also a number of  calm, neutral room sequence where exhibitions of different kind may take place (for example temporary showrooms, spaces equipped with internet points or multimedia technology systems).

Moreover, from the lower main floor of the museum it is possible to reach the memorial and the garden spaces.


The big covered plaza, together with its amphitheatre, is the area where celebrations and events take place. It also offers a particular perception of the surroundings, framed from the roof long edge that enhances the landscape horizontality.

This monumental slab, that was before perceived as an integral shape, while walking along the path, determines now a protected space, a place sheltered from the sun where people may gather.

A correct individual conscience leads to an aware social conscience. While the Monument is a place that attracts a community, the Remembrance Park must bring to personal meditation. The single visitor is capable to help this process with his slowing down during his path crossing. His arrival to the garden must be a moment of scattering, there will not be contemplative predefined spaces: each man chooses from now on its own personal path for a private reflection.

Autochthonous vegetation will create shadows where man will find new elements and meet each other. Natural and artificial sounds, alternated to silence, will evoke lived sensations and situations.

The visitor may leave a part of his story in the garden, so to create new element aggregation. In this way this place, that is different from all of the other designed spaces, will be able to affect visitor’s behaviour. It will be perceived not all of the total designed space, but a more inmost space that encloses the visitor intimacy. Therefore, on a prominent location overlooking the city the Remembrance Garden emerges an “icon of freedom”: two upwards open hands.

The garden, through interior meditation, must prepare ideally the human being before arriving to the Monument, that doesn’t commemorate an event but celebrates an ideal and represents liberty, which is made possible only if each individual is owner of his own liberty.


The Memorial consists in a big slightly curved plane totally practicable, marked by elements of different nature and scale. This elements represent symbolically all the categories of victims, heroes and heroines that have arisen from the struggle against Apartheid and colonialism. Some of them secure the connection with the other spaces of the project, others assure natural light inside the museum and the gathering space, others correspond to some soft surface depressions. These ones are designed so to have some spaces connected to natural cycles, to time lapse, capable of receiving rain, transforming the total space perception and facilitate human being meditation.

The Memorial acts as an energy catalyser, in connection both to landscape and all of the natural elements, as to the entire building design. In conclusion, it is the arrival point of all of the concept paths through history and memory, but also the place of the final analysis from which a new balance is reached.; a balance that the Memorial hands back to the landscape thanks to its symbolic form, strongly connected to the horizon.


The project aim is to combine various activities under a unitary mark, strong enough to put itself in relationship with the greater scale of the surrounding landscape.

On the contrary, the complex formal articulation of various functional areas, give the chance “to translate” the great territorial mark in a series of spaces most strongly related to the scale of the Salvokop Hill in order to link this area to the rest of the landscape and to create a new site, a great public space, open to the working out of a new identity; this identity is sprung from the South Africa’s research of a new balance and a new development model to propose as an example of democratic, multiracial and multicultural  society.

08_pretoria copia  stella  francesco_1  francesco_2_a

TAVOLA 2A  TAVOLA 2B  Tavola3-Model  2 copia


E. Avallone, G. Pierluisi, P. Mezzalama, F. Marinelli, L. Reale con: L. Aliberti

– collaboratori : A. Stella Richter, C. Tufatelli

Comments are closed.