Design Indaba 10 x 10 Housing Project
Low-cost housing is an issue of huge social relevance in South Africa, and indeed globally. Statistically it is significant that, for the first time in history, over 50% of the world’s population now reside in urban areas. The impact of this is particularly visible in South Africa’s townships and the urban sprawl of informal settlements around cities.
A number of national housing initiatives have been given a high profile by South Africa’s Minister of Housing, Lindiwe Sisulu. The Minister has also communicated the government’s encouragement to developers, financial institutions and the construction industry to deliver on the visions and goals of the National Housing Policy.
The 10 x 10 Housing Project challenged 10 architectural teams to provide dynamic design solutions for the low cost housing sector (on a completely pro-bono basis), with the intention of creating 10 distinct designs that would change the perception that low-cost housing is outside the realms of design innovation and architectural significance.
We paired ten hand-picked local architects with ten international alumni from previous Design Indaba conferences. The objective was to come up with affordable, innovative responses to the very pressing issue of low-income urban housing. Sustainable, energy-efficient design, construction and operation principles were to be incorporated. Experiences and outputs were to be compiled and ultimately presented to the Minister of Housing as an open source manual, a contribution to the public pool of knowledge available to all interested in the design or construction of low-cost housing.
In this way, the 10 x 10 Housing Project’s aim is truly to “create a better future, by design”. Not only will some of Cape Town’s most impoverished families benefit directly, but the project seeks to stimulate a wider debate and creative thought around the delivery of low-income housing.
Freedom Park is situated in Mitchell’s Plain, about 40 km from Cape Town city centre. We have been allocated 10 plots in the greater Freedom Park development on which to build the 10 Design Indaba houses. We are working closely with the Freedom Park Development Association (FPDA), the Development Action Group (DAG), and Niall Mellon Township Trust (NMTT) who are all involved in the building of a total of 493 low-cost houses in Freedom Park.