ARCHITECTURE / COMMUNITY FACILITIES
TSOGA ENVIRONMENTAL CENTRE
Consultant Team: ARG Design – Alastair Rendall, Gita Goven, Shane Stewart Anna Cowen, Vernon Collis (Architectural Design); Vernon Collis (Structural Design); SAT Quantity Surveyors (Quantity Surveyor)
Contractor: Drucon Construction
Period: 2004 - 2006
Client: City of Cape Town
The primary focus of the project team was to generate a way of thinking about building materials and systems that could have both short term and long-term benefits for the well being of the community.
The primary walling material is recovered brick, the structure articulated with muscular columns that carry the gum pole, “latte” and reed roofing system at regular intervals. The roofs are a family of vaults – the form generated through exploring the possibilities of bending “latte” to support earth roofs in a way that is both logical structurally, and spatially pleasing. The burglar bars, security gates and balustrading are mostly made of recovered scrap metal. Internal screens are made of reeds and ‘latte’, as are the sunscreens that contribute to the thermal efficiency of the building.
Other ‘green’ strategies employed include the harvesting of rainwater from the roofs to be used for the garden and for flushing toilets. Grey water from the wash hand basins is routed to trees. Hot water is supplied to the kitchen through a solar water heater. Deciduous vines screen the North elevation in summer for thermal efficiency.