So back at varsity with a little less than four months to go till graduation. As final year Interior Architectural students, we are all in the process of final projects and research papers. So after choosing our respective buildings to apply our design solutions to, off we went to council to collect draughting plans of said buildings. My research paper deals with the factors that influence the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings in South Africa, specifically the capital city: Pretoria, so the building I chose is from 1905, pretty old right.
So armed smugly with a letter from college stating that I have tried to contact the owner to no avail, and that I need these plans for educational purposes, I marched (ok drove) to Council in the Pretoria CBD. I was so positive, positively naive…I thought they would embrace me and my letter, hand these plans to me, and we will all hold each others hands and sing Kumbaya…sad to say the truth is the opposite. So we get to the 1st office, and the first thing they tell us is -No-
No to us marching in there with our perfectly typed out varsity letters, so basically No to the plans!! But take these forms to the owners of these buildings you wish to use and have them complete them. I mean we got the varsity to write these letters because we could not get hold of the owners. So we told our tale of woe to the only lady who seemed interested as the rest of the possi looked on suspiciously and obviously occupied with their lipglosses…Then she tells me that my amazing building from 1905, a heritage building, does not have plans, she advises me to try and get the owners copy. So I pick the phone up again call said building and would you believe… its MRS owner herself on the phone, I explain to her what was in my multiple emails and you know what she says…-No!
No! No! No! Mrs owner tells me that Council has plans all i need to do is give them money! She tells me the building does not belong to her it belongs to the Republic of South Africa as it is a Heritage site!! “So please contact the Republic of SA to get the permission or the plans!! I mean at this point I wanted to cry, this is a little old lady, someones grandmother…What do i do give her attitude?!
Anyways long short, we got hold of the sg diagrams of our respective buildings from the amazingly patient human beings at the 3rd office we went to. They gave us some measurements to start with, they were kind, and they were human, and they did not want money!! And after that I was retelling this sad, sad story to one of my lectures and he says to me Mpho I have the perfect building for you, almost next door to the previous one, a heritage site and he had the architectural plans. At this point I was emotional and actually rather fragile and this lecturer was kind, and with those few words, one of the worst days in a while became the best day!!
Which just goes to show, a little thoughtfulness/kindness/patience/love goes a long way!!!
Be kind to each other, it cost nothing!!! ( that means you too Mrs 1905 building Owner!!)
Image sources: http://thedailyquotes.com/post/18338 (Edited)