Baobab Toll Plaza
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The figurative architectures of analogy and metaphor are fraught with the pitfalls of failure, either becoming so abstracted as to be obscure, or so literal as to be banal.
The architects of this project manage to traverse these extremes by bringing to the design the very practical requirements of the safety of the toll booth operators. The re-design of these in conjunction with the engineering consultants and their integration with the analogous interpretation of the baobab forests in abstracted form satisfy the requirements of the client, the National Roads Agency for a symbolic gateway to South Africa, and as symbol of South Africa’s commitment to NEPAD.
The project speaks of sophistication, technical proficiency, is legible and serviceable, bringing architecture of high quality into an unexpected domain while subscribing to a functionally rigorous and prescriptive brief. For this the project is deserving of a National Award of Merit.
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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