Germiston Civic Centre
Germiston Civic Centre
PROJECT   Images
Public use of the community facilities is facilitated by the competition winning design of the Civic Centre. Located on a triangular urban site at the fringe of the CBD, the horizontal architecture emphasises and creates a public plaza.

The centre consists of a cultural centre, comprising a civic theatre, public hall, cafeteria and library, a council chamber and council offices, a health department with a comprehensive polyclinic, as well as open areas including a possible amphitheatre.

The exceedingly diverse functions are accommodated on a confined site within a single building envelope.  The flowing horizontal lines within create a visual harmony despite the variety of building forms.  A town square flows from the sweeping crossing of two main roads to a public square in front of the city hall and ends in a forte cochère which provides access to the various components of the civic centre.  The courtyard serves as a focal point for cultural activities as well as a space for gatherings. A fountain has been added to soften the heart of the complex and to provide acoustic damping of the adjacent city bustle.  The placing of elements within the building envelope was important.  The council chamber is the most prominent form and creates an appropriate civic scale for the complex.  The library and health department which both need service entrances and potential for expansion, maximise expansion potential without compromising public space.

The brick construction of the civic centre echoes the predominant material used throughout the city.  Apart from the council chamber, which is visually prominent, the complex is designed to integrate with the surrounding urban development.

Designed in 1972, the first phase of the project, consisting of the health clinic and library, commenced in 1980 and was completed in 1982/83.   A second phase, consisting of the council chamber, mayoral suites, conference facilities, public hall for 600 delegates, town clerk and town secretary offices, staff cafeteria, a la carte restaurant and related kitchen complex, commenced on site in 1984 and was completed in September 1986.  A multi-purpose, totally adaptable theatre designed to accommodate 1200 people, will constitute the final phase of the project.

The interiors were designed under the architects’ co-ordination and although different companies designed the first two phases, the finishes and colour scheme have been carried through.  Some of the existing valuable furnishings were restored and re-used and some collector’s pieces were purchased as a start to an important art collection.

Through careful co-ordination of the architecture and the interiors and by using mainly local materials in an innovative way, the building achieves its aim of providing a timeless well-integrated addition to the City of Germiston (Ekurhuleni).