Text & photographs by Zahira Asmal

Johannesburg’s Park Station is a space like no other – with a cross section of South Africa and Africa’s diversity, Park Station’s daily users are possibly the most pan-African population in the world. Beyond nationality, a wide range of languages, religions, socio-economic levels, interests and values are represented each day in the people of the Park Station Precinct.

D_ZA’s placemaking project presents an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful scope of diversity and to create space that is intended to accommodate the full range of users in the area. In an open space and accessible, this project welcomes all that spend time in this place of constant movement, whether they are there daily, or only for a brief visit.

Initiated and managed by Zahira Asmal, founder and managing director of The City and DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA, the exciting project is the next major local-global collaboration for the organisation. Asmal has identified the need to reconceptualise the role of public space especially in transit nodes in the city through partnership and the implementation of sound design principle and practice. Her long-standing working relationship with David Adjaye combined with his knowledge of African spaces, histories and challenges meant that there was no contest in Asmal’s mind as to who was best to lead the design on this project. Through D_ZA’s experience of working with the JDA, and with support from Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA), the city has become an essential partner in realising the placemaking project with D_ZA.

Fast Facts:

– By Who: Initiated and managed by DESIGNING_SOUTHAFRICA, in partnership with the City of Johannesburg represented by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) and Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA), designed by David Adjaye, created for the public (local community, commuters, tourists, traders, anyone and everyone

– What: A public urban pavilion

– When: The project is in construction and will be opened in 2016, exact date to be confirmed by the JDA

– Where: The North Side of Park Station, outdoors in public space

– Lead Architect: Adjaye Associates

– Local Architect: UrbanWorks Architecture and Urban Design

– Footprint: 10m x 10m