Competition Scheme for the Sarah Bartmann Centre of Rememberance

Hankey, Eastern Cape

Competition scheme for the Department of Arts and Culture for a remembrance centre including a museum, research facilities, educational facilities and a remembrance garden.

The Sarah Bartmann Centre of Remembrance is to be place that honours the life of Sarah Bartmann as well as the KhoiSan. It is to be a place for all South Africans that is rooted in its natural and cultural landscape. The aim was to create a place that represents a legitimate architectural expression for South Africa, where the KhoiSan, the inhabitants of Hankey and all South Africans can truly call their own. In order to honour the significance of the people of South Africa’s diverse perceptions and viewpoints, the project chooses to adopt a sensitive approach in which non-prescriptive spaces are provided, where differences may be negotiated and an integration between multiple levels of identity and understandings can exist.

The landscape under consideration is of both physical and cultural significance; hence it is treated with respect. The design honours it by allowing itself to be informed and shaped by the landscape, the result being a place that is embraced by its surroundings. The centre is not to be experienced as an isolated object but rather as a place of cultural, sacred and social significance. The place as a whole is to include the burial site, Hankey, the school and the surrounding landscape. A visitor will experience the place in its entirety, therefore defining it as a place of national significance.