Video Produced by Wendy Poole
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The studio is still requiring funding to make this innovative and ambitious project a reality. 




Video Produced by ETV


The second year design studio at the Nelson Mandela University School of Architecture is currently in the process of designing and building a new 80 SQM crèche in the informal shack settlement of Airport Valley, Gqebera, Port Elizabeth. The design proposes a new building, including two classrooms and a storage area, to replace an existing dilapidated shack which is structurally unsound, has no floor and is unfit for purpose as a place for early childhood development.
Students will be responsible for the design and will also construct the building themselves. The project proposes an opportunity for students to engage collaboratively in a professional environment with real construction and materials, an authentic project context and underpinned by a socially sympathetic cause and real world ethical responsibility. It aims to create a situated, critical and inclusive teaching and learning environment while adding value to the greater community.
The project is part of a bigger picture which looks to interrogate the design/build project as a medium to offer students a "diverse range of life-changing educational experiences for a better world"; contribute to society, and in our own way (on the ground) contribute towards the university’s current #caseforchange and a more humanizing teaching and learning practice.



The final design proposes:
- A structure which can be entirely pre-manufactured and is portable within a reasonable timeframe to be relocated, adapting to the volatile environment of the South African informal settlement landscape.
- A tarpaulin curtain and movable division contributes to the discourse of multi-functional architecture and allows the spaces to alter its spatial configuration in size and its relationship between inside and outside. This allows the building function to be altered to a suit a number of different uses. Additional potential uses, in addition to crèche, includes a community centre, church, a soup kitchen and a public stage. 
- A low-cost ventilation and lighting system (air drums) which uses low tech design to enable control of air flow and light into the internal spaces. The building is also sensitively aligned with the local climate and harvests rainwater.
- The expression of the architecture reinterprets the use of industrious materials to create a low cost, dignified, habitable building that also
contributes delight to the dire conditions in the informal settlement of Airport Valley.
NMU Department of Architecture Design Team:
NMU 2nd Year Design Studio Master / Project Leader:
John Andrews
NMU Architecture HoS and HoD:
Boban Varghese / Andrew Palframan
NMU Design Studio Assistants:
Clayton Johnson-Goddard, Mpumzi Mbulawa
Student Project Team: 2nd year Class of 2019
Vanessa Akullo; Ruben Carsten; Michael Churchman; William Duncan; Aadilah Ebrahim; Leon Engelbrecht; Emma Fraser; Tavonga Gune; Oyama Gqamane; Katelin Hageman; Ashley Harwood; Robert Hill; Kyra Jonker; Anneli Jooste; Tyniele Jordaan; Leonard Kleynhans; Cornelius Kriel; Tirtha Lalla; Shadaan Loonat; Mac Machete; Earvin Magura;
Mivuyo Makubalo; Silindokuhle Mancam; Miv Matai; Zintle Mkonwana; Rachel Mlosy; Asiphe Mzanzi; Justin Martin; Tato Mohkesuoe; Kyaterekera Mugerwa-Sekawabe; Gillian Muller; Hermien Muller; Sarita Nair; Josh Nel; Henco Nigrini; Siphesihle Nogantshi; Bianca Nortjie; Rozanne Oosthuizen; Leah Palacious; Wendy Poole; Rachel Puttergill; Helena
Richter; Chrissio Robberts; Limpho Rodolo; Brandon Roome; Danielle Shone; Mieke Strydom; Asamashle Swana; Lutho Tshali; Anka van Anraad; Alex van der Merwe; Cameron van der Wath; Morgan van Staden; Hein Walsh; Megan Waterson; Cameron Watkins; Lunga Zitha
NMU QS and Structural Assistance:
Katharina Crafford
Roy Cumberledge
Barry Bradley / Graeme Eckley
NMU Legal Services:
Adv. Daryl Newton
Adv. Nombuso Shange
NMU Health and Safety:
Yanga Gibe
NMU Ethics:
Prof. Charmaine De Villiers
NMU Engagement and Funding:
Belinda Du Plooy
Nadeema Azem
Walmer Township Consultants:
Ward 4 Councillor - Ayanda Tyokwana
Airport Valley: Community Chairman - Zama Moya
Project Mediator: Walmer Angel Project – Glenda Brunette
Benefi ciary: Crèche 13, Airport Valley – Tobeka Mbada
Walmer Ward Councillor: David Heyselden
Specialist Consultants:
Structural Engineering: Drew Beattie
Site Construction Assistance: Rob van der Merwe
Electrical Installation and Certification: Marius Nortjie
NMMM Human Settlement:
Schalk Potgieter
Land Planning: Mthulisi Msimanga, Varda Cameron
Chief Builder Inspector: Reza Boltman