REBORN TAXI RANK
The entrance to Diepsloot has not just changed in the past four years. Today, it’s winning awards.
“Upon entering Diepsloot, the most prominent part of the old taxi rank was the back of its leaking toilet block, reminding visitors and residents of the perennial problems experienced in the area with the failing sewerage and storm water systems,” write 26’10 South Architects on their website.
Last Friday, its design for a new taxi rank at the entrance to the township was a commended project in the Corobrik-SAIA Awards.
The upgrade of the entrance to Diepsloot began in 2010, initiated by the City of Johannesburg. 26’10 South won the contract to rebuild the rank.
It added trading spaces and a giant verandah that is a kind of stoep where residents can meet, get a meal, do business and wait for buses or taxis. “Due to the sporadic electricity supply, fireplaces are provided in the food stalls. The fireplace chimney stacks can be boxed out by large billboards, generating additional income towards the maintenance of the rank. A new car wash and repair workshop are introduced ... The roofs are sloped at a pitch suitable for solar panels and provision is made for a UPS station to power the rank during the frequent electricity outages.”
Among the eight top winners of the awards presented by the SA Institute of Architects were Unisa Phase 2 in Cape Town and the //HAPO Freedom Park Museum in Tshwane.
There were a further 14 awards of merit and two commendations.
URBAN PLAN The entrance to the main taxi rank in Diepsloot