10×10 Starter House

Name 10×10 Starter House
Client Design Indaba
Location Cape Flats, Cape Town
Status Unbuilt, 2008

This project seeks to radicalize the form of housing produced by the state through the housing subsidy scheme. Rather than attempt to find ingenious ways, either technically or spatially, to improve upon the existing R.D.P. house, the proposal seeks to redefine the house as a starter house.

A small 28m² starter house is proposed with good service provision – the roof comprises prefabricated concrete floor planks which are covered by a single span curved sheet of corrugated iron. This sheet provides waterproofing and thermal insulation, while the concrete planks provide a floor for vertical expansion. When expanding vertically, the curved sheet can be reused to form the roof of the new floor. The long axis of the house is placed parallel to the front boundary, two metres from the boundary.

The money saved by reducing the size of the house will be used to transport the family’s shack to the new site. The shack will be erected in the back yard and additional shacks can be built. The service core of the starter house is accessible from the outside, making it suitable for use by family members living in the shacks.

The starter house and shacks can and will be upgraded over time. In this way, two housing systems are brought into a set of complementary relationships. The outcome is considerably more space for the same cost as the subsidy house, with the possibility of renting single units of space for income-generating purposes.

This proposal was not acceptable to Design Indaba because it was under the budget of R40 000 and was too small. No other houses by the other participants managed to come within budget.