This site museum is conceptualised as a device to unpack the social and political history of the youth of Soweto and to view and unpack the apartheid landscape that surrounds the site.

As a ramped narrative journey space the project slowly unfolds the events of June 16 1976 and reveals the unique history of the surrounding area with some of the interpretive narrative being written on the windows that frame significant historical sites (the police station, the shooting site, the final rallying space - Orlando stadium)

The museums red brick repeats the brick of the houses of the area striking a deep relationship with history and context..

12 year-old Hector Pieterson was the first of hundreds of students to be killed by the police in the student uprising against Bantu education in 1976. Sam Nzimas famously iconic photograph of the events raised headlines throughout the world and remains symbolic of the tragedy and bravery of the youth uprising.

The Hector Pieterson commemorative memorial (which is 600m away from the actual shooting site) established a physical marker in the form of an engraved red granite stone, not only to memorialize the many students who died, but also to symbolize the courage of youth in changing the perceptions of adults that Apartheid was an overwhelming problem.

Red brick was used for the museum, to match the red brick houses from the early fifties surrounding the square. Within the building, the exhibit route follows a ramping loop around a stark central courtyard, in which all the names of the students who died are memorialised in granite slabs in a gravel bed.

The museum is situated in the heart of where the uprisings took place and the narrative is punctuated by windows that allow visitors to see the actual buildings or streets where the events unfolded. Text on the glass aid the narrative and visitors are confronted with historical photographic footage juxtaposed with the contemporary view of Soweto outside, orientating the visitors in time and spatial context.

A ‘flame-line’ of grass slices through the memorial landscape from the museum towards the location where 12 year old Hector Pieterson was gunned down.

Concrete floors and soffits, rendered white walls and the introduction of African teak flooring complete the minimal palette of finishes for the ramping, folding tube of space, intended as a neutral backdrop against which the extraordinary narrative of bravery and courage is offset.