PROGRAMME:140 DWELLINGS (36 single-family, 30 two-room apartments, 72 one-room apartments), shops and public facilities, a restaurant, a fish and vegetable market, hydrophonic greenhouses and a fish farm.
CUBAN WORK BRIGADE THE delivery system for the dwellings is based on the 'Cuban Work Brigade' model, in which residential blocks are built using both skilled and unskilled workers. This form of delivery is conventional in the sense that as much use as possible is made of traditional materials and building techniques. The basic construction of the dwellings consists of load bearing walls and of floors cast on site. Window and door frames are standardised and made of steel. Exterior walls are preserved by paint. AS soon as it proves possible to improve the level of workmanship, the technology used can deliver the sort of high quality durable building that is ideal for long-term rented accommodation. The actual institutional structure follows the model of the housing association as applied in the Netherlands, but which in South Africa is still somewhat experimental. As a way of increasing the feasibility of the project it is proposed to treat the landscape as a productive resource from which users will be able to generate income.
LANDSCAPE AS A SOURCE OF ...? TO ensure that they can be built within the finance available, dwellings are kept to the smallest possible size, varying from 18 square metres for one-room apartments to 72 square metres for single-family dwellings. Residential buildings are set in a straight line along Mamkele Street and form half-open courtyards on the north and south sides. The housing is varied in character: three-storey blocks for single people and childless couples, with public facilities, shops and workplaces on the ground floor. Single-family duplexes, with private gardens, are located in that part of the area which has little in the way of additional activities or traffic. THE public facilities and shops on the ground floor are accessible from Mamkele Street and are arranged to fit in with the traffic pattern. Shops are located near to taxi ranks and bus-stops, light industry round the courtyards and public facilities on important corners and on open ground, to strengthen the public domain. The fish farm and hydroponic greenhouses are supported by a market building including a restaurant. The restaurant is a cooperative commercial undertaking taking full advantage of its situation. THE productive spine generates a number of possibilities for different kinds of land utilisation in the planned area, including the fish farm and the hydroponic greenhouses. A system is incorporated to pump water out of the lake and irrigate both the private gardens and the larger allotments lying along the stormwater drainage. The stormwater drainage is so arranged as to retain collected rainwater on the site. The most important idea behind the productive landscape is maximising land utilisation without becoming dependent on large investments. The use of irrigation water together with the retention of rainwater provide the key to shaping a landscape where residents can farm vegetables as a supplementary source of income and where there are also possibilities for recreation.