Vertical Yard Typology and 14×7 Row House

Exhibition: Network | December 2, 2011 by

Diepsloot, a large informal settlement in Johannesburg, lacks sufficient housing, and those with adequate housing often create informal additions to their units to create rentable space. The Vertical Yard and the 14x7m Row House address this enormous demand for housing by attempting to achieve a high density of occupation, infrastructure, and social amenities while minimizing the displacement of existing residents. The proposed housing types incorporate dynamic aspects of the informal city, such as flexibility and growth, by enabling residents to generate additional income through rental rooms, retail, and small business. The income from rental units can be used to pay off micro-loans taken to construct the new housing. The increase in density allows the units to be larger by saving money on land cost, infrastructure, and services. Density also creates better conditions for efficient public transportation and the provision of social amenities. The houses are located close to the street to create a sense of urbanity, promote safety through increased surveillance, facilitate easy trading, and minimize unusable space between units. The alternative plan of the housing typologies allows the homes to be occupied in a variety of ways. By designing the ground and first floors as flexible spaces that could accommodate residential or commercial use, the typologies create opportunities for economic development. The flexibility of a home that does not follow the conventional two-bedroom, one- bathroom layout accommodates the diverse needs of residents in Diepsloot.

Architects: 26’10 South Architects; urban planner: Lone Poulsen. Collaborator: Goethe-Institut. Diepsloot, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2009–present


1 response to Vertical Yard Typology and 14×7 Row House

  1. This is a lovely solution… embracing density in a flexible way. Wow!

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