Taxi Terminus, University of the Free State
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The Congress of South African Students at the University of the Free State requested that a dignified drop-off and collection point for taxi commuters be established to replace the chaotic situation then existing. The result is the new Taxi Terminus. Conveniently located near an adjacent main road, it facilitates quick entry and exit with minimal intrusion on the life of the campus.
The arrival and departure node comprises of two roof elements that create a waiting pavilion surrounded by trees. The corrugated iron roof terminates as a cantilevered overhang. The materials are cleverly used and well related. Competent technical resolution is matched by variations in textures and colours, giving lightness to a manifestly secure and dependable structure. The Terminus has a presence that is distinctive and elegant. It shows respect for surrounding trees and deference to neighbouring buildings. The trees and external setting give the building an inviting appearance. Indeed, the panel noticed that while commuters were getting off and on to taxis in the road circle opposite the entrance to the building, employees of the University were relaxing in the attractive setting at the back of the building. The Terminus is not a taxi rank with attendant vendors and bustle. Rather, it is a place at the University to which and from which people are ferried to Bloemfontein's main taxi rank. The panel was informed that effective lighting helped establish the design as a gathering place in the evening, and that the design ethos of folding planes was carried through into the furniture that incorporate light boxes that create a playful and vibrant atmosphere at night. The panel was not able to view the Terminus at night but could attest to the fact that during the day it was well used, highly functional, dignified and delightful. The panel was immediately unanimous in considering that this important public facility within the context of the campus deserved an excellence award, given its careful and skillful architectural resolution and its successful and sensitive integration within the existing landscape.
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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