With Nelia Fassen and Joanne Stranack
In my first week at Stauch Vorster Architects (Cape Town) in early June, we had an in-house competition to tackle a new low-cost housing development out in Belhar, Western Cape. The spatial arrangement of the units was by then nearly finalized, so the challenge was to focus on the building envelope, and how to create an environment that is inviting and appealing to the residents, as well as indicative of a “home”. Our team’s guiding principles were: assigning an identity [what makes a dwelling?], facilitating precinct navigation [colour, scale, geometry] and responding to climate & use [rain-water catchment, durability of materials].