Heres an interesting Social Housing project from over a decade ago in South Africa designed by 26’10 Architects. Dubbed the Lufhereng Greenfields project, it catered to varying densities of housing for lower income individuals and families designed to be more deliberate and sustainable both environmentally and economically.
The houses are simply designed and simply built offering a decent and affordable home for residents, while the urban layout was conceived in such a way as to promote community, commerce and security. The Lufhereng Greenfields Project functions as an extension to the west of Soweto and is conceived as a residential area in which low, medium and high density housing is integrated with urban agriculture, transportation as well as social and commercial facilities. The initial brief required a move away from the typical township landscape towards a more socially and economically sustainable environment.
Firmly locked into a RDP/ BNG brief as well as severe geological constraints, it took six years to realise 1 200 subsidised houses out of a proposed 25 000 unit development.
(RDP) Reconstruction and Development Programme responsible for the construction of approximately 2 million subsidised homes since 1994
(BNG) Breaking New Ground – follow-on programme to construct subsidised dwellings to a standard which will enable owners to use property as collateral in raising finance.
Our practice was involved from the inception of the project in 2004 drafting the Spatial Development Framework for the entire area as well as Urban Design Frameworks for the first phase. The houses depart from the RDP norm in order to provide a greater variety and a better animation and surveillance of the street supported by thresholds in the form of verandas.
Subsidised, lower-bonded and bonded housing (denoted by different roof colours on the model images) are mixed in order to avoid economic ghettos. Architectural and urban design guidelines have been drawn up in order to guide the future development of the area. These principles are concerned with engendering better community surveillance and to allow for growth and economic development along certain activity streets defined by row housing and flexible live-work units. The project was carried out as kWA Urbanism comprising: 26’10 south Architects in partnership with Peter Rich Architects and Prof PG Raman.