The online portfolio and whimsical ramblings of Robert James Page

Durban Beach Front (Site office?)

Although, as I said in my last post, my cynicism for the World cup has waned considerably, what comes up a lot in conversations about all the new development is just what are we going to do with all the new infrastructure once its all over.

Some of the larger new buildings are a bit of a concern especially: can we expect a massive revival of the use of these spaces, or are we to be stuck with a beautiful promenade of empty, degrading white elephants..

This particular intervention has me totally confused. What is it? To me it looks like a site office with a bit of cosmetics, but its not being used for anything right now.. Perhaps a crafts stall like the ones further up the beach. But why just one? Either way, the faux African wattle canopy is a bit cheesy, which is unfortunate, because on the whole the rest of the new development seems to have subtly steered away from such sentimentality quite nicely.

Excuse the bottom left corner photo. I took that on my way to the fan park for the first game. I was a little excited to say the least, and most of the pictures from that night are pretty blurry.

Durban Beach Front (Moyo)

The past few weeks have been pretty incredible. I was quite cynical of the World Cup and all the wealth and abundance it promised to provide our country, but now, half way through the tournament I'm absolutely loving it!

Durban's never looked cleaner, safer and more alive! The effects are most evident along the beach front. I've been down there quite a lot lately, at the fan park, watching bands, enjoying the beach; and I had a camera with me the last few times, so the next few posts will focus on the development in the area.

For now I'll include a really nice new little bar that's been build out on the pier just past Addington beach. I had a beer there the other day with a couple of friends. Its a really beautiful spot.

The beauty of a lot of the new development, and this building in particular, is in its simplicity, both in plan form and materiality, definitely a nice upgrade to the old blue and yellow tile cladding that was so characteristic of the old beach front buildings.

KSIA (Walkway)

A couple days ago I wrote about visiting the New King Shaka International Airport here in Durban. Over all I think it's really great, but there are a few features that stuck out at me a lot.

Linking the main circulation/interactive spaces and the parking areas is a really cool little covered walk way that passed under the road and out to the other side. I love how, in such contrast to the old airport, the whole complex is so considered and comfortable and it just feels really nice to move through.

In the middle of the section below the road is a large skylight which makes the whole tunnel feel really open and light. Above ground it manifests itself as a small glazed box with a small butterfly roof arrangement which mirrors the main parking garage. Its a really cool feature, but the green glass is so trashy. It's all over the airport and really ruins a lot of the buildings. It's such a shame, but I suppose it is Tongaat!

KSIA (Cooling Tower)

My sister flew in from Port Elizabeth yesterday, so I took the opportunity to wonder around the new King Shaka International airport while I was there to pick her up.

I was pretty impressed for the most part. The terminal's pretty ordinary, but to be fair there aren't a whole lot of exciting terminals out their, since the scale doesn't really lend itself to very creative architecture. There are a couple of really interesting little features around it though, and I got quite carried away taking photos (It was really overcast though, so sorry about the picture quality).

To the far left of the main terminal is a small oval plan structure that I really liked. Its almost impossible to find any information about the airport, but from what I could work out its some sort of A.C. plant/cooling tower arrangement with security offices and an airport shuttle stop. The paving and street furniture also looks really great!

Pretty sexy. Drop me a comment if you know any details.

Then I'm Radio, then I'm Television

Wow. Its been a long time since last I wrote, and I seem to be saying that at the beginning of every second post lately. Life's been pretty busy for the past month of two. Third year is proving to be a whole lot more intense than first or second, but I'm on holiday for about five weeks over the world cup so its time for some much needed rest! (If the vuvuzela blowing ever stops that is.)

I had a bit of a motorbike accident about a month ago. When I say a bit, I mean I drove into the back of a car, stuck my head through the back window and had to have 14 stitches. No broken bones or anything major though, so I'm happy to be alive. It feels good to be this blessed!

I did a poster for a gig I went to last night, an EP launch for a local band. It was a pretty fun show, and I'm pretty proud of the poster. I've been playing around with graphics quite a bit lately.

Applying design techniques to a new medium's always really exciting. I've been doing some furniture designs and taking lots of photos, and who knows, maybe I'll be doing some fashion design one day!

I should be back for a while, I've got a lot of free time, and a lot to share, so we'll chat soon. I've given up on the splashy fen reviews though. That was just too long ago now. Sorry. Maybe next year.

Lastly, if you haven't heard the new The National yet, get it. Now. Its fantastic. Very similar to Boxer, but a little more experimental I'd say. Really great rainy afternoon music.