DURBAN BEACHFRONT UPGRADE
PROGRAM: PUBLIC / URBAN DESIGN
LOCATION: DURBAN BEACHFRONT, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
SIZE: 9KM IN LENGHT
PROJECT ARCHITECT: MICHAEL TOD
 
Durban’s Beachfront is one of the cities most significant tourism assets. It forms the eastern boundary to the city and connects The Point with the new Stadium Precinct. Furthermore, it is the first aspect people think of when Durban is mentioned, forming an essential part of our city’s image and identity. 

The Promenade Upgrade is seen by the City as a powerful tool in the rejuvenation of the Central Business District (CBD), the first major step at regaining the premier beach holiday destination, as well as hosting the most successful 2010 FIFA Football World Cup™ Fan-Fest™. 

The primary developmental objective was to integrate the central beaches, maximize public access to the beach, to promote safety through environmental design, as well as to promote a healthy lifestyle. In addition, all existing nodes, facilities and buildings with direct access to the promenade, were to be upgraded and redeveloped to take advantage of their potential. 

The promenade is defined on both edges by the strong Architectural forms of the Eastern Sea-Wall and the Western Concrete Steps. The Sea-Wall, a defensive mechanism to protect the promenade against storm surf, has wide polished concrete covers to accommodate groups sitting together, whilst the Western off-shutter concrete steps help prevent wind-driven sand from reaching the landscaping, and also provide convenient seating to all ages. New High-Mast lighting, area lighting, street furniture, and showers were also incorporated.

The existing dune vegetation and forest has been rehabilitated and new dunes integrated at both the southern and northern beaches. The long term effects of this aims to increase flora and fauna bio-diversity, prevent wind and tidal erosion of the beach and visually softens this edge. General landscaping was limited to expanses of lawn, which incorporate picnic and sports areas, and Coconut palms in clusters or along the edges in a regular rhythm to define the linearity.

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