The architectural preservation of the Karoo’s bird of death a Cape Vulture Rehabilitation Centre: Hofmeyr| Eastern Cape
The world is facing extinction levels last experienced 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs died out. Population growth, urbanization and deforestation have caused over 16 300 species to be classified as endangered on the International Union for Nature Conservation’s Red list. The Cape Vulture is one of the species facing extinction due to human impact. This dissertation proposes a Cape Vulture Rehabilitation centre as an architectural intervention that assists in the conservation of Africa’s only true scavenger. The intervention is focused on the rehabilitation and supplementation of the Cape Vulture population in the Hofmeyr area of the Eastern Cape. The lack of vulture rehabilitation facilities in the Eastern Cape provides the opportunity to develop an intervention that has relevance in wildlife conservation. The site is selected due to its close proximity to the existing breeding cliffs of a colony of Cape Vultures, and is situated in the Bamboes mountain range near the town of Hofmeyr. The personal interest of wildlife and experiences of the Karoo have steered the decision to focus the dissertation on Vulture conservation. The dissertation aims at creating an architectural intervention that facilitates the preservation of Cape Vultures whilst creating awareness of ecological conservation of the Karoo. The theory of Biophilia which translates to the love of living things is explored and interpreted to assist in the development of an architectural response that aids in the transformation of misconceptions surrounding vultures. The dissertation adopts explorative research methods into the topology, typology, morphology and tectonics relevant to the intervention. Challenges are identified and aims are set, research questions are developed to assist in solving said problems. The knowledge gained through analysis and the interpretation of theoretical literature guides the design development process and the ultimate synthesis of the proposed design. Finally, the proposed solution is reflected upon to determine the accomplishment and failures of the investigation process.