Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre

Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre
Location: Limpopo, South Africa (South Africa)
Architect: Peter Rich Architects, Johannesburg, South Africa
Client: South African National Parks
Completed: 2009
Design: 2006-2007
Site size: Total combined floor area: 1’130 m2 - Total site area: 2’750 m2

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The plan for the Centre takes inspiration from a motif etched on stones uncovered on the site at Mapungubwe Hill, a World Heritage site located at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. Exhibition and learning spaces take the form of ten free-form vaults, the largest of which spans 14.5 metres, and a number of regular barrel vaults and domes which are arranged in a triangular layout linked together by ramped walkways. The vaulting method used relies on fast-setting gypsum mortar and earth tiles laid on edge. Low environmental impact is achieved through employing local labour and materials.

2013 Award Recipients