The Freedom Park Museum, Gauteng, South Africa

The 52 hectare Freedom Park heritage site situated on Salvokop Hill in Tshwane overlooks the southern gateway to the city. The park aims to promote unity, peace and reconciliation amongst South Africans.

Aurecon is privileged to have played a key role in all phases of development of the Freedom Park site, the primary features being the Monument, the landscaped park on the top of Salvokop Hill and the cluster of museum buildings. Aurecon was originally appointed as part of a consortium to construct the services infrastructure for the Park as a whole (Phase 1), as well as the civil, electrical, mechanical, structural and wet services for this phase. Aurecon, in joint venture with BEE partner Leslie Madinga Associates (LMA), was then awarded the tender for the design of all structural engineering services for the subsequent phases, including the monument (Phase 2) and museum (Phase 3).

Aurecon was closely involved in decision-making processes relating to the museum, which involved giving serious consideration to a multitude of views and perspectives and distilling them into a balanced, logical action plan.

The museum buildings are multileveled and designed to follow the natural mountain contours, taking visitors on a historical ‘journey’ as they amble through them. Creating an easily walkable, flowing route for visitors was therefore crucial. Engineering was pivotal in bringing this to life and required extensive interaction with the Office of Collaborative Architects (OCA) consortium responsible for the ‘look and feel’ of the building. Given the steep slopes of the site, Aurecon was called upon to design of a series of very technical, high retaining walls. The consortium later praised Aurecon for bringing their vision to life.

The complicated geometries of the museum structures with their multifaceted facades were achieved in close cooperation with various role-players, including the architects and structural steel fabrication drawing detailers using 3D modelling expertise.

Since Freedom Park opened, it has become a place where both South African and international visitors find a haven to reflect on the past and draw inspiration for the future.

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