N

ew Communities


Africa Various

This project is to provide 5000 low-cost houses for government workers in a country lacking in infrastructure and amenities. The houses will be realised in groups of 50 to 100, as urban infill or renewal within existing towns and cities, or as new suburban or rural settlements.
Designed to be a city [+-]
When it comes to creativity we can be there with you from step 0.

When designing large number prefab units it is of great importance to keep in mind that the unit’s location will most likely evolve into a functionning township in a near future. That means that doesn’t it only requires means of self-sustainment, such as repair shops or shops, but also the master planning will need to keep that into consideration.

Prefab technology [+-]
More affordable settlements in shorter time.

When designing large number prefab units it is of great importance to keep in mind that the unit’s location will most likely evolve into a functionning township in a near future. That means that doesn’t it only requires means of self-sustainment, such as repair shops or shops, but also the master planning will need to keep that into consideration.

Due to the budget restrictions that signified a repeated house type and a minimum treatment of any shared or community areas, the house design sought simplicity and adaptability, while the urban design focused on the creation of an interesting public space to promote community interaction and that facilitated further future development by the actual inhabitants. In fact the urban design was recognised as just as important as the individual house design in establishing an urbanization that, with use, will naturally develop into an attractive neighbourhood and will accommodate future growth and densification.

A single family house type in two versions of either 100 or 125m² was proposed; a design adaptable to differing demands of various users, with shaded transition spaces between the exterior and interior and integrating passive solar design concepts of ventilation and illumination suitable for the tropical monsoon climate. The houses are sited to define the street or public square edge, but are separated to allow for future densification with the construction of compact low-rise apartment blocks. The concentration of density along one edge allows all the homes a more private open space where, on sections of 500m² or 1,000m², inhabitant families can cultivate small crops.
The urban planning minimises roads, with just one perimeter lane around the large sites as necessary, from which the hooks radiate towards the centre of the site. The hook-shaped open spaces radiate inwards singly or in pairs, as inverted reflected pairs. The public squares are divided into diagonal strips which can adapt to various uses, including the formation of terraces for a sloping site. This public square is a shared area for relaxing and socialising.

The prefabricated house is based on a modular structural grid to facilitate fabrication and erection. The plan and elevations are largely symmetrical for simplicity, and with the 25º pitch of the gabled roof recall the traditional homes of the region. The modular design generates a sub-floor structure adaptable to various foundation types as may be required by the terrain; from piles to strip foundations to floor slabs. Roof eaves are 1m wide to shade the porches, walls and windows of the house. Large rainwater gutters and sealed down pipes allow rainwater harvesting for water conservation. In-ground PVC tanks would proportion each home a dry-season water supply.


In this example the settlement is lined-up with the main road. On the right units location and water deposits.
PROJECT DETAILS

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Project preview