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City Centre Sustainable Design Housing competition - special mention

FFCN has been delighted to help support this year's competition in South Africa and congratulates all 68 teams of architecture students who submitted their designs for the city centre space in Tshwane-Pretoria and especially the 7 winning teams identified by the judges.

One further submission caught our eye, meeting most closely the visions and ideas of the future of the city centre that has been captured by the network's global research.

Prof Bob Giddings explains his reasons for giving the submssion from Nelson Madela University School of Architecture (Priscilla Banda, Josie Handman and Kayla Iveson) entitled "Community as a City" a special mention:

"The form of the buildings defines the external space of the site, while the open structure creates pedestrian streets that counteract the claustrophobic nature of traditional social housing. At the upper levels, the structure offers flexibility, as apartments can be added, taken away, or remodelled to relate to changing need. The structure and panels are made from laminated timber, which creates a homely quality and contrasts with a smaller number of mineral fibre cladding panels. The community spaces at each floor feel like high quality urban places. The ends of each building provide for community activity and include – restaurant and café, pharmacy and clinic, produce and grocery, and a creche.

"The river is turned into an amenity with bridges crossing from the public space adjacent to Nelson Mandela Drive, into the residents’ courtyards. It is also a biofiltration system, which improves biodiversity and promotes human interaction with it. There are attractive external spaces that allow for a substantial braai, and socialising areas. In addition, there is a market place where produce grown and made by the community can be bought and sold. It is a way of regularising the informal economy, which is endemic in the city centre."

Planning has started for the 2024 Competition and FCCN look forward to supporting this venture again.

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