TU Delft MSc 1st Year Studio Project | Robben Island, South Africa | 2006
From Liberation to Deliberation
Designed by Auzie Triratnamurti

The wall is a line on the plan and a primordial, inevitable and necessary architectural element in our environment. The studio tries to comment on contemporary social divisions and invisible walls between different races, tribes, religions, through the simple element of wall. With a research conducted on belhuis in Rotterdam, studying the ‘mediating wall’ elements, the design seek inversion of the power of the wall and give the meanings a twist by designing an extension to the old museum in Robben Island, South Africa, which used to be a prison for many important freedom fighters during Apartheid era in South Africa, most famously, the former president Nelson Mandela.

The journey starts from the old main gate heading to ‘the wall of liberation’, which appears in a form of the underground entrance cutting through a sloping land, through the gallery and exhibition spaces that emerge in the surface of the sloping land to reveal the real view of and the access to the maximum security prison on the other side. It is continued with the journey back through ‘the wall of deliberation’, which appears as the open pedestrian walk lined on the upper part of the sloping ground. In this path we can have a full view of the whole island with all the living memorials, while having the opportunity to reflect of what we already learned about the island. The form of the building is derived from ‘the body of nature’. The green sloping ground acts as integration to the nature of the island that penetrates with the pattern of the sand and the wind. The irregular form of the scheme is derived from the slate stone pattern of the walls in the island. This scheme is merged with the strongest axis that lines from the main gate to the maximum security prison. And another axis in the other extension that turns into an overhanging viewing point to the ocean.