The Red Location Museum Art Gallery was recently awarded the title of Global Building of the Year 2012 by an online British design magazine, Icon Eye – competing against the Lyric Theatre Belfast, the High Line Section 2, Teruel-zilla and the Olympic Velodrome.
As a Port Elizabeth local I attempt to support local business as much as possible and am known to be pretty anal about such mundane things as beer, choosing only to consume Fanta Brown quarts as they are manufactured right here in Perserverance.
If the Global Building of the Year 2012 award carries swathes of cash or opens doors to eager investors is not quite clear.
Winning designer Jo Noero of Cape Town’s Noero Architects, told City Press; “I didn’t even go to London because I really wasn’t expecting it.”
Ace historian and Red Location/New Brighton resident, Annette Du Plessis spotted a number of errors in the City Press article and pointed them out to Jo Noero:
- The building referred to as a shack is not! It is in fact the only remaining preserved living tangible memory of the people from Red Location, and originally stems from the barracks of Deelfontein De Aar (circa First South African War 1899-1902).
- Oom Ray (Raymond Mhlaba) was not born in Red Location.
- Oom Gov (Govan Mbeki) did not live in Red Location.
- George Pemba was not born in Red Location.
- The oldest local African settlement is not Red Location;
- There was a mix-up in the information (historical facts) regarding the Uitenhage concentration camp cottages and the Deelfontein De Aar barracks – and once again demoting this heritage referring to these as shacks!
- The history of the people who lived in the preserved Red Location barrack, is not documented inside the Red Location Museum.
- The “Guernica” (made by the Keiskamakoek Project from Hamburg) artwork referred to does not hang inside the Red Location Art Gallery, but it’s permanent space is rather inside the Red Location Electronic Library.
It appears that a war of words has erupted between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and one wonders if maybe egos need to be whittled down a bit.
One also wonders what Icon Eye will feel about their awarding the title of Global Building of the Year 2012 to the Red Location Museum Art Gallery when they read some of the comments about the building from people who work there:
- “….my health is at risk because of the state of the building………….. Twice when the Red Location Museum leaked and flooded I was hospitalized with pneumonia (the last time was about a month ago) and this has caused permanent scarring to my lungs!”
- “[the] buildings are full of loads of concrete dust sifting down on people and on our exhibitions (making them dis-functional), the walls are full of mould and the paint is bubbling off the damp and damaged walls in the Red Location Art Gallery.”
As one who believes in keeping as much money locally and developing local talent what disturbs me the most is that Cape Town based Jo Noero Architects have appointed someone to do the Red Location Cultural Precinct Marketing in Cape Town.
Fittingly Noero described the project to City Press as his life’s work. “I love working at Red Location because the people have got so much strength. Despite the hardships, they just get on with it.”
Editors Notes: That does not give you the right to increase their burden of hardship.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/12/global-building-of-the-year-2012/