The Rush Hour landmark for the 2014 world UIA congress in Durban




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The Rush Hour landmark for the 2014 world UIA congress in Durban
Rush Hour is a new landmark in Durban that was inaugurated on the eve of the 25th world UIA congress being held in this South African city. The art installation is located on the edge of the N3 motorway: an informal pedestrian route between the suburbs of Durban and the city centre.

Not only architecture can be used to drive social change, art can also do its bit.

This has been put into practice with the Rush Hour installation in Durban, designed by raumlabor berlin, a Berlin-based experimental architecture practice, famous for its multidisciplinary approach that comprises art, architecture and urban design, together dala, Durban-based interdisciplinary collective. 

The installation is a shelter made from the gutted shells of old cars. This artistic and urban design work provides shelter from the sun and the rain in one of those typical in-between places of our urban worlds – here a plot of land adjacent to the N3 motorway, which thousands of people use to walk from Umkhumbane (Cato Manor) to the city centre (Warwick Junction).

The idea for the project actually came about on a walk: Durban-based architect-artist-designer Doung Jahangeer, a member of the dala collective, took Jan Liesegang, the co-founder of German practice, raumlabor, on a walk around the city, showing him these “secondary” places. 

So, Rush Hour Durban is an urban landmark that showcases the magic of forgotten spaces, in an animated setting like South Africa, which is hosting the UIA world congress for the first time in history, and reveals how these places can be rediscovered thanks to the social and cultural change underway. 

(Christiane Bürklein)

Rush Hour Installation
Project: raumlabor berlin, dala
Location: Durban, South Africa
Year: 2014
Images: © Roger Jardine, courtesy of Goethe Institut South Africa