The precinct around the historical Herbert Baker (1862-1946) designed station building (1912) has changed substantially over the past years. While the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link, built to the south east of the historical building will be open to the public from July onwards, the new BRT system will also be implemented in future. The aim of this project is the creation of additional pedestrian thoroughfare, directly linking the Pretoria Station with the new Gautrain station precinct and envisaged BRT station. The objectives of this project are to change two of the lower windows along the eastern facade into pedestrian doorways and to optimise the re-use of the adjacent interior spaces while restoring them to their original condition as far as possible.
The opening of the façade of the Baker-building onto the new piazza in front of the Gautrain will activate the edge of the historical building, increasing the urban value of the new piazza. As the eastern façade is the only façade that has never been altered, great care had to be taken to memorialize the façade appropriately. Various alternatives for the alteration of the windows to doors were explored through model-building.