Social integration enhancement as a driver of built form : a proposed ACCORD peace centre for Durban.
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Throughout the years, Africa has been in pursuit of an African renaissance that would unite all African nations as one. This vision has been a long term struggle for the African Union (AU) which was constituted in Addis Ababa on May 2001. The struggle of uniting Africa had however begun in May 1963 by the Organization African Union (AOU) which is now the African Union (Saunders, 2001). The aim of this Union that consists of 53 African nations is to organize an African unity that will promote an improved solidarity, peace and stability amongst all people of Africa. The negative perceptions concerning Africa, which were perpetuated by colonialism and have permeated mainly non-African societies, have left the AU with a never ending mandate as it tries to wipe them out. A large presence of colonial architecture dominates major cities of Africa to present day. During the colonial period, architecture that represented Africa’s traditions and cultures was ignored by its rulers. The aim of this study is to come up with an architecture that proudly showcases African elements that would form an architecture that represents its people which will then start to answer the (AU) vision of a united Africa. The study looks at the city of Durban as the focused area of study. The chosen area has become a place where multi-cultural African nationalities coexist. With the continuing attacks of xenophobia which has brought a wave of unrest amongst foreign nationalities, an opportunity has come up to create a centre within Durban that would further boost the African Union’s vision of uniting communities and the people of Africa. This vision (AU) can be realised through the non-governmental conflict management institution (ACCORD) that is based in Durban, South Africa. This organisation will aim to impact on the negotiations and peace resolutions throughout the African Continent.