eThekwini scoops architecture award

This R80 million ultra-modern uMkhumbane Cultural and Heritage Museum in Cato Manor scooped the prestigious Africa Architecture Award under the “built” category.
This R80 million ultra-modern uMkhumbane Cultural and Heritage Museum in Cato Manor scooped the prestigious Africa Architecture Award under the “built” category.

ETHEKWINI Municipality’s R80 million ultra-modern uMkhumbane Cultural and Heritage Museum in Cato Manor scooped the prestigious Africa Architecture Award under the “built” category during the awards ceremony which was held recently in Cape Town.

The annual awards aim to recognise and reward projects from around the continent and seeks to celebrate design excellence, honour established architects and encourage emerging and future designers.

The museum, which was designed by Choromanski Architects on behalf of the Municipality was shortlisted in the top five of this category and was the only South African entry competing in this field which received a total of 307 entries.

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The cultural and heritage museum is expected to cost R350 million once completed and will include a heritage centre, a forced removal museum, a memorial of Queen Thomozile, a concession and a trade building as well as the Cato Manor Freedom Park.

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said: “This project has not only revived the Cato Manor area, but it has also helped preserve our rich heritage and boost tourism in the City. Importantly, it has created jobs for people in the area. We pride ourselves about such structures,” she said.

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Nina Saunders who is the Acting Head of Architecture Unit said the Municipality identified Cato Manor as an ideal location to develop the museum to preserve the rich cultural and political history and stimulate innovation.

“The museum provides an opportunity for contemporary culture and powerful heritage to converge, serving as a tool for social, economic and ecological regeneration. As part of a broader urban strategy, the site seeks to activate and network various cultural nodes within the community of Cato Manor through community involvement, local artists and leaders,” Saunders said.

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