Museum and Community Centre in a Township of Johannesburg
Despite its simple, robust construction, the Alexandra Heritage Centre is a complex development. It shows how architecture can help support social processes and how underprivileged residents can participate in the concept, design and construction of a museum and a new centre for their township. As early as the 1970s, the South African architect Peter Rich had begun to research and document traditional settlements of the black population in reaction to the destruction of villages by the apartheid regime. In his collaboration with tribal communities, Rich acted as a mediator and activist. Participation and empowerment of residents and respect for the cultural context came to play an ever greater role in this work.