Community Residential Unit Development
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This City of Cape Town housing project aims to accommodate families who are currently living in unconverted hostels and in informal settlements. The City developed a funding model that previously was used to adapt existing built fabric for low-income municipal rental stock. This mode! has now been extended to include greenfield sites.
This project is located at the Bhunga Avenue gateway from the N2 into the Langa suburb. The development achieved a density of 230 units per hectare with a total of 463 two-bedroom units that each have a floor area of 40m2.
In the design, the emphasis was placed on the creation of well-defined public spaces that would cater for pedestrians predominantly. A new main square at the Ndabeni Street intersection focuses the whole development. Care was taken to keep the existing trees to create an immediate sense of permanence and community. The design of the whole project is geared to ensure surveillance and safety.
Successful housing is notoriously difficult to design. It even gets more complex when it is affordable housing. In this instance, the architects have fulfilled their task in a commendable manner. It is hoped that it will serve as a national example. The best architects should get more involved in housing - the people of South Africa deserve their best efforts in order for us all to have a better future.