Expansion and adaption of the National Afrikaans Literature Museum and Research Centre: understanding architectural language in heritage buildings and formulating an appropriate response
This dissertation is a proposal for the expansion and adaption of the National Afrikaans Literature Museum and Research Centre (NALN) in the Old Government Building in President Brand Street, Bloemfontein. The new additions consist of a new, state-of-the-art archive, improved exhibition spaces and the addition of a new contemporary literature and works wing. The role of this public institution is the preservation of all materials related to and promotion of the history and development of Afrikaans. Housed in a heritage building, on a heritage site, within a conservation area, the theme of heritage architecture conservation is an important aspect of the investigation. The overarching aim of this proposal is to inspire a greater appreciation of the heritage building and Afrikaans literature. To achieve this, it is necessary to engage with the debate between respecting the heritage building and transforming the public institution to become more relevant to its contemporary use. It is about listening to the voice of the heritage building and finding an architectural response that makes a meaningful contribution to the dialogue that exists between old and new. This guided the research reported in this document. First, the parameters of the research are set out by identifying the challenges and aims related to the proposed design, followed by an in-depth investigation of these parameters. This gathers all the relevant knowledge, which is then incorporated into an architectural design and technically documented proposal. Finally, this process is evaluated through critical reflection, consisting of personal contemplation, to evaluate the entire process followed and the success of the proposed resolution.