The design of a structure to accommodate a KwaZulu-Natal Institute for the Built Environment in Durban.
South Africa is a developing country at the dawn of its democracy, confronting the challenge of providing suitable lives for its people, whilst still trying to compete in a new global village and face other challenges of the 21st century. In this milieu of pressing problems, constraints of time and budget, the solution is almost always a compromise. Short-sighted quick solutions are the order of the day. A lack of good strategic planning leads to isolated and disconnected developments... each construction conceived in a vacuum. But the built environment is too permanent for short-sighted solutions. The significance of design in this sphere reaches far beyond the superficiality of trend and fashion. It is the structure within which we live our lives, and the quality of our existence depends on it. Furthermore, future generations will deal with the consequences of our ill-considered blunders for hundreds of years to come. South Africa especially, cannot afford to waste limited resources on building inefficient systems. Although each isolated intervention may meet its short term goal, the ripple effect of these inefficiencies on a macro scale is unacceptable. Besides been counter-productive and hindering the countries long term development goals, the inefficient use of energy and other limited natural resources has a vastly damaging effect on our precious natural environment. An understanding and respect for the quality of our build environment needs to be installed in our collective consciousness. Only once the gravity of each seemingly inconsequential development is fully appreciated, will we be able to construct a cohesive built environment, providing the best opportunities for future success. This research seeks to establish the design criteria for a Kwa-Zulu Natal Institute for the Built Environment. This would be a centre for facilitating positive interactions between individuals from various backgrounds involved and interested in improving the quality of our built environment and promoting interest to the public.