|dc.description.abstract||Tom Steer, senior associate on the Gautrain Architects Joint Venture states that "When people
arrive in cities with well-organised transport networks, they breathe a sigh of relief. The
identity of the transport system forms an integral part of the city's identity and the way it is
perceived internationally." (Theunissen, 2009: 22)
Mokena Makeka of Makeka Design Laboratory agrees saying "The role that transport
facilities play in the creation of an identity for both the industry itself and the city is essential,
and one that is often underplayed in this country" (Theunissen, 2009: 22).
In South Africa today, the public transport industry is perceived negatively by a large portion
of the population. This perception is largely rooted in the troubled history of South Africa
with Apartheid playing a major role in the formulation of such perceptions. In addition, issues
surrounding lack of government funding, supporting infrastructure, safety, reliability,
comfort, accessibility and a general state of disrepair hinder the progress within the system.
This has resulted in a system that is severely underutilized by the middle to high income
population, creating overcrowding on roads through the use of private motor vehicles, and the
unsustainable nature of South Africa's transport system as a whole.
This study focuses on the role of identity in architecture, exploring the concept of architecture
as a catalytic instrument in the creation, and identification of identity, and how this can be
applied to transform the public transport industry as a whole. The intention is to identify and
explain the important principles and elements that inform the success of a transport
interchange, and how a building can redeem itself and create a new identity.
It is clear through the study that infrastructure is required in the public transport industry.
This dissertation looks at the design of a modal interchange facility which seeks to appeal to a
wider socio-economic group, and in turn create a more sustainable system as a whole.
One must acknowledge that for any significant change to occur, more than just architecture is
required, as architecture in isolation, cannot address all the issues. Identity is formulated
through a number of elements, not only built form. The approach will have to be a holistic
one and a broad remodelling of the current system is required. Modal interchanges do
however form the backbone to this process and act as a vital catalyst in the transformation of