“The design for the Museum of Photography is derived from the conceptual drivers of ‘subtract’, ‘contrast’ and ‘frame’ – these all being photographic terms which also have historical connotations for Johannesburg and South Africa. It relates to the city’s apartheid past, as the majority of the country’s population was subtracted from the use of the city’s amenities, and one’s skin colour became the determining factor in their place in society – contrasting dark with light, with individuals being ‘framed’ merely in terms of their race.
“The purpose of the Museum is to not only showcase the role photography played in broadcasting the injustices that were happening in South Africa during the apartheid years, but also to foster new photographic talent through education programmes and lecture spaces. The building design includes lecture space, a reception lobby, restaurant, learning space, three gallery floors and a bar.
“The use of polycarbonate sheeting and perforated brick relate back to the conceptual ideas of contrast and framing, as during the day the city can look into the space, while during the night the building transforms into a glowing lantern in the city landscape.”