African Design Magazine April 2016 - Page 39

African project Silindokuhle IN For its first experiment, the young architect collective ‘Saga’ involved itself in a community development project in Joe Slovo, an informal settlement in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The idea was to offer a space for the many local small entrepreneurs to launch their business, enabling them to then be able to share their tools and knowledge and also have a proper space to work other than their homes. That being said, the building was designed as a hall that could host various usages throughout time. For now, partition walls can be pulled down in order to separate the three classes of the pre-school. One of the biggest challenges of this site was the rainwater issue. In fact, every time it rains in Joe Slovo, there is mud everywhere. Thus, Saga decided to raise the building in order to make sure it does not get flooded. They also created exterior decks that are above the ground so that the kids can still play outside. Retention walls and tranches were put in position in order to have a better and more efficient water flow on site. In the sanitation building, the floor is covered with crushed shatterproof glass (noncutting) in order to prevent the space from becoming extremely dirty when it rains. 39