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AfrikaUK

Peter Rich Architects / South Africa MAPUNGUBWE INTERPRETATION CENTRE, LIMPOPO, SOUTH AFRICA, 2010 The centre is built close to the archaeological site that is the focus area for the centre. To prevent the creation of a visual link with any one tribe rather than another, the architecture does not refer to a local building custom, but strives for complete integration in the landscape. The masonry vaults are therefore not directly typical of the area, but represent an ancient technique known from North Africa. A series of vaulted spaces are organized with a point of origin in a number of triangles which create the route through the spaces at the ground plan. The triangle has a specific symbolic value in the Venda culture that has left its mark on the area. Among other things, triangles carved in stone have been found in the area. The vaults imitate caves in the landscape which also have a meaning 138  for the Venda people. The caves were used as homes as well as for storage and ceremonies. The vaults, which are covered with sandstone from the area, have been built on the rock faces, without excavation or other changes in the landscape.


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