A free-hand figure-ground drawing of Tlhabane Town Centre Development (based on a tracing from a Google Earth aerial photograph) confirms that sound principles of urban planning were utilised in the development. The relationship between open spaces and built form is generally appropriate.
The use of axial relationships and guiding geometries is clear and direct. The generally fragmentary nature of the resultant public open spaces and the unresolved format and indifferent design quality of the building envelopes that fronted these spaces detracted from the completed development.
A figure-ground diagram is a two-dimensional 'map' of an urban space that shows the relationship between built and unbuilt space. It relates the amount of "figure" (solid building) to the amount of "ground" (open space) and illustrates a mass-to-void relationship. An analysis of such a diagram identifies the "fabric" of an urban development.
Submitted by William MARTINSON
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