Lincoln on the Lake, Umhlanga New Town / Gateway, KwaZulu-Natal. THA Architecture & Design for Growthpoint, Louis Group and Key Developments.

Seriously!? It’s usually pretty difficult to knock buildings in the Umhlanga New Town / Gateway precinct. They generally have their urban hearts in the right place. There’s a decent mix of residential and commercial, with retail along the street. Parking is concealed in a way that doesn’t leave the pavement lined with carbon-monoxide-exhaling ventilation and little else. Indeed, this scheme – although still under construction – looks as if it might just tick all those boxes.

But, I guess this is what happens when the major contextual indicator is a shopping mall of Disney proportions. The building borrows liberally from the City Beautiful movement of the 1890s and 1900s in Chicago. Which in turn borrowed from the French Beaux-Arts that preceded it. How is this relevant to an African town centre in the tropics? In 2009? It isn’t. Not even a little bit.

And it has the audacity to tout itself as an environmentally appropriate response. I don’t see any sun control.

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10 Responses to Lincoln on the Lake, Umhlanga New Town / Gateway, KwaZulu-Natal. THA Architecture & Design for Growthpoint, Louis Group and Key Developments.

  1. Michael says:

    I would tend to disagree with you on this one (i think the others you have posted absolute rubbish buildings…better in the renders than reality). Standing up close to this one i get very good feelings about it. While you may not like it, i think it has taken an old style, twisted it somewhat and makes a bold statement across the park. The level of detail is very impressive and is not something found in most buildings these days where architects and developers skimp on every last thing. This building looks and feels like it has a soul

    Secondly on the environmental issues with this building, it is the first in KZN to get a top “green” rating.

  2. Lateralus says:

    Michael you seem to know the building..
    I don’t so how can I judge.
    Soul is always a good thing, but how is it sustainable? I see lots of glass, It could only be the east side.What rating system was used?
    The form reminds a little of the Eastgate Center, Harare, Zimbawe{Pearce}(GOOD BUILDING)(and City Beautiful movement..sorry)

    I dont think I could ever like it but I could pretend to like it, like the building is pretending to be somewhere its not.

  3. Edmund says:

    As i have discover and as you will see from my status on DesignMind (the image is only one fifth of the experience) i also think level of attention paid to detail (wherever whatever the inspiration or appropriation) pleasing.

  4. Lateralus says:

    “Architecture reduced to print (thinking of books) is only a 5th of the picture. 4 of the senses loose out.”

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