Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Memory Box Station
Pretoria, Gauteng

MATHEWS and ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS (MAAA): Architect

Date:2015
Type:Bus Station
Status:Extant

The Memory Box station forms part of the "A Re Yeng" Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system implemented in Tshwane as a process of upgrading the public transport system within the Metropole. The Memory box stations are specifically chosen to be located in sensitive historical precincts where they are required to be ‘non buildings’ that blend into their sensitive historical contexts. At present there are four of these station types located in the inner city of Pretoria.

The Memory Box station type differs from the other Tshwane Rapid Transit trunk route stations in that they are lower in scale, consisting primarily of floor to ceiling glass panels, intentionally reflecting their surroundings. The seemingly simple yet multi-layered facades consist of randomly staggered glass and steel elements which blend into the constant movement and activity of the inner city's traffic and pedestrians.

This random collection of various glass sizes includes some opaque white glass panels which stand proud of the glazing, pulled forward onto a different plane. While breaking up the scale and solidity of the constant facade these white glass panels are symbolic, representing the buildings and surrounding elements which have been lost over the years.

Some stations consist of two modules connected by a link. Where space allowed, these links were designed as open space with trees and benches. Specific care was taken to ensure that the side fencing and general overall impression of these spaces should fit in and enhance the complete design of the station. The inclusion of trees in these spaces will provide welcome foliage and shading for the inner-city as well as providing a more naturally relaxing experience for commuters waiting for a connecting bus.

Contrasting with the rigid external station form, internally the space is animated by a suspended wooden ceiling which consists of hanging wooden panels cut to form an impression of flowing waves. The intention of this element was to use a natural material in sculpturally captivating free-flowing forms to create a more relaxing and human space in among all the chaos of the constant traffic and hard surroundings of roads, concrete, steel and glass.

Vertical elements announce each station and act as landmarks in each specific urban setting. These vertical elements include artworks which relates specifically to their surroundings context.

(MAAA May 2015)