A centre for Indian music in Durban : towards the appropriate expression of cultural identity in the built form.
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The aim of the research is to develop a brief for the design of a proposed Centre for Indian Music in Durban. The relevance of such a centre would be established by analysing the history of music in India as compared to the Indian music evolution in South Africa. The effects of imperialism and colonisation had significant impact on the practice and learning of music in both countries. Such political institutions also had great influence on the spaces where music had been performed. Indian music is unique and differs quite significantlyly from Western muslc. A comparison of Indian music (movement through time) and the architecture of Indian music to Western music would provide valuable clues to the quality of space and movement through space In Indian architecture. The theory review analyses the integration of pragmatic functional requirements of the building program with the metaphysical and symbolic qualities of space that are characteristic of Indian traditional architecture. Such architecture would be analysed with reference to its relevance in the context of Durban. Any cultural place ought to transcend mere functional requirements and should be rich in symbolism and metaphor. Both natural and spatial archetypes add to the symbolic quality of space and place. Critical regionalism would hence be reviewed. Urban design theory would be essential as the Centre for Indian Music in Durban would be located adjacent to a rich cultural precinct on one end and totally vacant and abandoned sites on the other. The need for urban design and intervention would propose appropriate development of the vacant sites whilst Linkages to other cultural facilities would be established within the City's rich cultural landscape. Acoustic principles would be analysed in order to design effecient rooms and spaces to facilitate music performance and production. Precedent studies of similar buildings by renowned architects would be critically analysed against their symbolic and contextual relevance. Case studies of South African musIc facilities would provide useful design and technical data. The siting of the building would be borne out of a thorough analysis of various sites against a predetermined set of site selection criteria. The resultant formulation of a brief would be the outcome of the research undertaken.