We were appointed in 2008 by Respond! Housing Association based in Dublin to make proposals for a site centred around the very rudimentary Roman Catholic Church in Shayamoya, a new RDP township (2002) just outside Kokstad. Respond! had developed a relationship with the then Bishop of Kokstad , William Slattery and the project grew from the social work that the Catholics were doing in the area. The 'site' is a 'town block' that includes the Church, an adjacent Municipal Hall, some vacant land and a row of 8 typical RDP houses - Respond!'s long term goal was to become a 'housing delivery' provider and early discussions about the centre was the inclusion of a building skills development centre to provide the necessary artisans to this end and these 8 houses were to be an exemplar of upgrading/greening options. The politics of this part of the project became 'unmanageable' and were eventually excluded. Likewise the inclusion of the municipal Hall in the design proposals.
The eventual centre includes:
Premises for several local health (HIV + TB mainly) based NGO's
Drop-off-centre for the elderly
Training and catering kitchen
New Church for 500 (existing church 150)
Pre-school (in the old church) for 120 3-5 year olds
Skills Development Centre with classrooms and workshops.
Public access Action Soccer pitch.
The design emerged from clear PLED principles of (north) orientation of habitable rooms and insulation of walls (Isobord) and roof (Thermguard). A major consideration in the layout is intensive water harvesting from roofs and paved areas (250Kl) since at that time water supply to Shayamoya was pretty much cut off by the supply authority during day light hours.