Previous Project Next Project

Competitions

English

SARAH BARTMANN REMEMBRANCE CENTRE

HANKEY, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA

C├ęsar Besada, Ilze Wolff, architects.
OH.Architecture.
Competition, 2009.

Sarah Bartmann was displayed as a curiosity for somebodys economic gain before her death. Posthumously her body again became the subject of interest as it was studied and exhibited in the name of science.

We feel that the Sarah Bartmann Centre of Remembrance should be a positive addition to the town, contributing to the architectural structure, its history as well as its economic development.

It is therefore imperative that users cross the town before entering the Centre. We have placed the building on the western slopes of the graveside koppie, thereby connecting to the grid of the town as well as the railway line. This position affords us the opportunity to open the building to the panoramic views of the agricultural valley, the mountain ranges and the town.

A painted stone set next to a cave.

The stone tells us the story of the life of Sarah Bartmann, and stands as a memorial to the unknown souls. The cave, allows us to transform our understanding by giving us knowledge.

The KhoiSan Exhibition extends outside the limits of the building envelope. It begins as a covered stoep that allows one to take in the landscape. It transforms into a cave-like space inside the building where light comes from a single source and it reaches finality at an outside performance space which in turn leads to the pilgrimage of Bartmanns grave at the top of the hill.

The translucent box becomes the architectural element that we use to subvert the notions of display that Sarah Bartmann was subjected to.