Freedom Park, South Africa

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Spanning a large site in South Africa, and in the midst of a multi-phase expansion, Freedom Park sought advice from ORCA to ensure the services and circulation infrastructure would support anticipated high visitation levels. ORCA not only assessed visitor circulation volumes and planned build-outs for each phase, but also identified interim uses of facilities with earlier completion dates (to reduce the need for additional temporary provisions and provide the project with cost savings) and developed a visitor-friendly circulation plan for the expansive grounds using a combination of carts, shuttles and pathways.

A place of learning, celebration, reflection, and tribute, Freedom Park spans 128 acres (52 hectares) on historic Salvokop Hill near Pretoria, South Africa and is anticipated to attract high visitation levels from both citizens of and tourists to South Africa. While the first phase was in development, the project designers at Thinc Design recommended adding ORCA to the project team to assist the team and park leadership in shaping design, construction, and operational plans for the future phases, and to ensure a high-quality visitor experience through the entire build-out schedule.

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To guide future-phase planning and operational requirements, ORCA calculated capacity requirements and made recommendations for each phase, including:

  • Probable ranges in the supportable visitor capacity and length of stay for each project element (existing and planned), including memorial, remembrance, exhibit, services and circulation space;
  • Likely range for overall site visitor capacity and length of stay.
  • Key attendance factors including annual attendance, design and peak day attendance, attendance for special events, hourly arrivals, and on-site visitor counts;
  • The relationships between site capacity and attendance levels.
  • Site and transportation infrastructure requirements to support attendance levels;
  • Transportation alternatives for visitors at the entry area (identified by ORCA) where a long and steep grade would create a walking impediment for many visitors; and
  • The impact of project phasing and alternative development schemes on supportable attendance and site/transportation infrastructure requirements.

ORCA identified the specific operational requirements (including placement recommendations for each provision) required for each phase of installation:

  • Parking;
  • Wayfinding;
  • Crowd control measures that may be needed to support high attendance days, including special events;
  • Circulation pathways and internal transportation requirements;
  • Ticketing and access control facilities;
  • Retail and food and beverage facilities;
  • Security requirements;
  • Ablutions (restrooms), drinking fountains, and rest areas;
  • Support areas, such as maintenance, custodial, and landscaping;
  • Staffing projections, including scheduling models and labor budgets;
  • Hiring, on-boarding, and training recommendations; and
  • Grand opening and other related event preparation.

A long and steep grade at the entry area was identified by ORCA as a feature that would create a walking impediment for many visitors. ORCA presented alternatives and recommendations for implementing transportation for visitors along this route.
Where beneficial, ORCA offered listings of suppliers and equipment suitable for the needs of the facility, such as tram manufacturers and POS system vendors.

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