Name: The Table House
Location: Philippi, Cape Town
First prototype: build by Hands of Honour
Informal shack dwellers in Cape Town exist in a state of helpless temporariness – helplessness as they don’t possess the technical skills to improve their homes and temporary because they hope that the state will replace their shack with a permanent house.
The Table House was designed to provide shack dwellers with a permanent low-cost structure, which can be extended laterally and vertically. The permanent structure acts as infrastructure that enables the dwellers to improve their houses gradually and to develop skilled labour and local building culture. The Table House is archetypal architecture – a minimal provision of posts and beams which provides a solid base from which to start. It is the structural expression of exactly the stability which life in the informal settlements lacks.
The project is based on a module that measures 3.6 x 3.6 x 3.2m. Concrete is used for foundations, columns and slabs, while PVC pipes, steel rebars and stirrups, steel beams, prefabricated ribs and blocks, mild steel joints, fire retardant paint, and diverse infill materials make up the rest of the materials used in this project.