Project Global: Ground

This exploration of our current day metropolitan condition as a system of systems deals with the crust of the Earth as a primary carrying capacitor of human activities, from the extraction of resources deep within the ground, to agricultural operations that barely scratch the surface.

Part 1: Lexicon

Part 2: Atlas

Part 3: Architectural Projects

Part 1: Lexicon index

︎ Formation

    ︎ Kaapvaal Craton
    ︎ Johannesburg Dome
    ︎ Vredefort Dome
    ︎ Topsoil
    ︎ Müggelsee

︎ Measurement    ︎ Schwerbelastungskörper
    ︎ Mining Earthquakes
    ︎ Low-tech Soil Testing
    ︎ Soil Texture Triangle
    ︎ Geologic Time Scale 
    ︎ Stratigraphic Colum
    ︎ Geographic Information System
    ︎ Ecotone
    ︎ Cultural Landscape

︎ Prototype
    ︎ Unter den Linden
    ︎ Zoological Landscape
    ︎ Counterculture
    ︎ Cultural Agency
    ︎ Mine-pit Lakes
    ︎ Parliament of Things

︎ Land distribution
    ︎ 1913 Natives Land Act
    ︎ District Six
    ︎ Eavesdropping
    ︎ Reconciliation Policy
    ︎ Land Grabbing
    ︎ Land Acting
    ︎ The Red Ants
    ︎ #PutSouthAfricansFirst
    ︎ Suburban Enclaves
    ︎ Parallel State

︎ Extraction
    ︎ Cullinan Diamond Mine
    ︎ Platinum Group Metals
    ︎ Zamazamas
    ︎ Gold Rush Inertia
    ︎ Sinkhole
    ︎ Maize Doctor
    ︎ Coal Hands

︎ Infrastructure
    ︎ Gautrain
    ︎ Le-guba
    ︎ Lesotho Water Project
    ︎ Deutscher Wald
    ︎ Arrival City

︎ Production
    ︎ Safari Economy
    ︎ Agritourism
    ︎ Rainfall Line
    ︎ Upington Airport
    ︎ Tiergarten Transformation
    ︎ Pivot Irrigation
    ︎ Allotment Garden
    ︎ Bokoni Terracing
    ︎ Johannesburg Forestation
    ︎ Game Farming Cycle

︎ Waste
    ︎ Trümmerberg
    ︎ Fab-Soil
    ︎ Mining Waste Belt
    ︎ Sanitary Landfilling
    ︎ Soil Structure
    ︎ Biogas Technology

︎ Pollution
    ︎ Dry Stacked Tailings
    ︎ Water Pollution
    ︎ Soil Pollution
    ︎ Uranium Sandstorms
    ︎ Poaching

︎ Remediation
    ︎ European Green Belt
    ︎ Conservation Agriculture
    ︎ Airfield Urbanism
    ︎ Solar Park
    ︎ Gold Reef City
    ︎ Mine Pit Lake
    ︎ Loess Plateau
    ︎ Erosion Control

Gold Reef City

“ — ”

Extraction, mining, and other man-made actions interfering with the ground result leaving behind a landscape full of patterns and formations that add to a uniqueness of that place. Johannesburg is well known for mining gold1 and the development between the mines and the cityscape. However the life expectancy of those places raise the questions of what will happen after the end of the operation period. In many cases there are restrictions pushing the companies to regenerate the natural environment before moving to a different location. In other cases, like at Gold Reef City - or even in a similar context like Las Vegas - there is a development interest in creating large amusement complexes that will attract visitors for “unique experiences.”
        There are many types of tourism that focus on specific activities, experiences, or the uniqueness of places. Reef city is an amusement park in Johannesburg built on an old gold mine. The park is themed around the gold rush that started in 1886 on the Witwatersrand with the amusement-park facilities mimicking the architecture of the original camps. There are a combination of attractions and activities that entertain and inform the visitors of the place. One could characterize this as a type of tourism that focuses on the peculiarity of the ground as the visitors choose the reef based on their interaction with the geological characteristics of the surrounding region.
        The attraction from outstanding events that took place though time, led to raise the interest of visiting places connected with historical changes and thus develop special tourist types, like dark tourism.2 This allows a place to recover through standing out their particularities by using them as advantages.

Image source: CMallwitz. English: Gold Reef City - View from Giant Wheel to Jozi Express and Johannesburg in the Background. February 16, 2008. Own work.

1.   Mines, such as gold mines, have a short life expectancy from five to 30 years. After that the mine owners must clean, replant and endure long-term environmental stability of the former mine site. “Mine Lifespan by Selected Commodities | Statista.” Accessed March 1, 2022.
2.   'Dark' in this context is not meant literally but metaphorically, as in "a dark chapter of history". And these dark aspects of history and humanity are simply quite interesting. Thus it feeds into tourism too. “What Is Dark Tourism - Dark Tourism - the Guide to Dark Travel Destinations around the World.” Accessed March 6, 2022.