Design brings Durban to life

2014-08-10 15:00

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Durban’s streets came to life with colour, miniature gardens, murals and rusted scrap cars this week thanks to the 25th World Congress of the International Union of Architects.

The 5?000 architects and activists at the congress took their work to some of the city’s busiest commuter routes – and the results have left residents agog.

Electricity boxes have become freestanding murals and the main pillars supporting the flyover above the Warwick Avenue market are heaving with stunning wall art.

Warwick Avenue, which runs from Berea to the Greyville Racecourse, has nine separate markets along its length.

This stretch carries an estimated 460?000 commuters each day on their journey between Durban’s townships and work or school.

An installation called Rush Hour on Carter Avenue behind the N3, and the busy King Dinuzulu (Berea) Road parallel to it, features old scrap cars that have converted to shelters for passing commuters.

Further along, there’s a Women’s Walk – a wooden fence studded with mirrors and photographs of the thousands of women who pass by every day.

The city’s main street, Pixley KaSeme (West St), has received a 400m face-lift that has greened and repurposed the roadside to create a more pleasant space for people living in the inner-city blocks of flats.

Elsewhere, there are miniature gardens, reflection areas where people can sit and relax, and public gallery exhibitions. The congress is over and the architects have gone, but most of the installations will remain.

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