Situated on a prominent “koppie” (hill) overlooking Tshwane, Freedom Park’s vision is to become “a leading national and international icon of humanity and freedom.” Its Mission is “to provide a pioneering and empowering heritage destination that challenges visitors to reflect upon our past, improve our present and build on our future as a united nation.”(1) At the core of this mission is reconciliation and nation building through the use of history, culture and spirituality. Indigenous Knowledge and Knowledge systems (IKS) are brought to bear on the project as a whole including guiding the architectural and landscape interventions.
The 52-hectare site lies immediately south of the city, comprising a natural quartzite ridge of significant ecological value and forms an important visual, natural and strategic gateway into the city.
Museum and Archives project (hap – Koi San for “The Dream”)
The concept for the museum came from a traditional healer’s ‘healing’ garden seen at a homestead in Kuruman in the Northern Cape. The concept evolved into the creating of large boulder-like volumes that contain the story-telling spaces.
The boulders are planted at the base of the Salvokop hill like a rock outcrop. With walls and roof all clad in copper sheeting, the ‘outcrop’ will, with time, rust to green and merge with the natural landscape.
The museum forms the primary entrance to Freedom Park and forms the start of the pathway journey into Freedom Park. The ‘boulders’ collect visitors and lead them along the path to the memorial at the top of the hill.
The interior spaces of the museum are designed with a cave–like quality with natural light used to dramatize the large volumes and ‘outcrop’ forms of the buildings.