The RBIDZ entrance gate is a bold statement of arrival by the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone. Designed by architects Jeremy Steere and Sphelele Mhlongo, the landmark gateway is both environmentally sensitive and architecturally bold.
This project is an example of successful human communication, connection and collaboration to create an industrial estate’s gatehouse that applies sustainable design first principles: passive ventilation; rainwater collection and filtration pond; daylighting and such. The project demonstrates how the notion of ecological thinking goes beyond the scientific. It is, in fact, more importantly, a social practice.
It is clear all individuals involved in the construction felt valued. For example, an informally trained landscaper with traditional experience became responsible for the implementation of the landscape – taking responsibility for something usually credited to a professional.
The shift here is that something akin to Ubuntu happened in this project. There was a real sense of collaboration as opposed to the usual individualism of some architectural projects.
An instigator among the government community in showcasing the facilitation of building practices in context.