Design Projects

Design Proposal for a Micro-Brewery, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


We were tasked with the design of a small beverage and food centre that has a strong technically dedicated function, a commercial origin and a socially interactive recreational role.  The project involves three (3) tenants with different requirements for each.

Tenant 01:

A microbrewery focusing on the production of quality craft beer made on the premises for the sale and consumption to the public (patrons) at the point of produce – as well as the production of beer, for sale but NOT consumption on the premises i.e. buy and drink and buy and take home. It is to be a pub&grub thus requiring a full commercial restaurant kitchen and all spatial and technical implications attached to it.  It should be properly owned, managed and staffed. The building should accommodate for 100-150 patrons.

Tenant: 02:

A secondary restaurant with a reasonable to good quality general type of menu that is not group specific
as a franchised branded family restaurant or an extremely exclusive highly priced exotic cuisine restaurant.
It should be properly owned, managed and staffed. The building should accommodate for 50-100 patrons.

Tenant 03:

A micro-tenant with a total floor area of ± 30m2 and should accommodate for 5-20 patrons. The function
of the micro-tenant should be anything relating to the function of the other two (2) tenants i.e. a brewers shop,
ice-cream bar, confectionery den, pudding bar, sweet shop, sandwich servery, etc.


To understand the nature of spaces to suit and house specialised technical constraints, accommodating among other technical challenges, the brewing equipment and brewing process along with the management in spatial terms of the technicalities and challenges of commercial planning requirements.  The investigation of planning solutions that bring together the constraints of a specialised process, the particulars of specialised equipment and the many people centred requirements.  The development of an appropriate aesthetic for a building project having a technically dedicated function, a commercial origin and a socially interactive recreational role (both for the workers and the patrons in this case).  The tree dimensional resolution of a small but complex public facility.

Design Proposal for a Small Rural Farm School in Crossways, Eastern Cape, South Africa


The first project for the year is the design of a Rural School. It is to be situated at the “New Rural Town” of Crossways currently under development and being the initiative of Dr. Chris Mulder. The town is sited to the West of Port Elizabeth.


The investigation into and the planning of and the making of space that enables and fosters the excitement of learning.

Investigate and respond to the spatial needs and anthropomorphic of children aged 3 -6 young in the After Care and Pre-School programs.

The development of an appropriate aesthetic for a building project having technically dedicated function as well as an educational and enrichment function.

The three-dimensional resolution of a small but complex specialist but public facility.


This design came about through one main theme: to create spaces where all children experience maximum comfort . A prominent South-West and South-East wind is not uncommon on site – therefore the decision was made to create a barrier with the classrooms and play areas on the other side. To the North, a spectacular panoramic view encapsulates serendipity with a valley, leading to a stream and dam, and eventually beyond the valley, a breath-taking pine grove; a green carpet. Creating spaces orientated to the North is not just as a result of a pretty picture; natural sunlight is easily incorporated; solar energy could also be generated through means of North-facing PV panels.

Each classroom is either partially covered with a landscaped (grass) flatroof – providing substantial insulation for each classroom and doubles up as a sustainable irrigation system. The radial design allows for interaction between various classes – aiding social skills and general interaction. This type of “horse-shoe” style not only shelters from the Southern winds, but also functions as a psychological safe haven.

-Sheltered from the Southern gusts
-Spectacular views to the North
-Natural sunlight in all classrooms
-Opportunity for solar power/energy

Design Proposal for the 2018 PG Bison Competition

Every year PG Bison™  has a nation-wide competition regarding some sort of architectural challenge.  This year (2018), the competition is all about the Old Coke House within the historic Johannesburg Gas Works Complex.

The Johannesburg Gas Works once supplied the gold mines with gas, a part of Johannesburg’s legacy, but today is merely a structure reminding of an industry that no longer represents the city.  Once a monument to the Zeitgeist of Johannesburg, today this historic building is to be re-developed, incorporating the new thinking behind a modern city and converting it into a beacon that encourages community interaction, historic architectural preservation, environmental awareness and healthy living.


The new icon will house a modern multipurpose exhibition space, focused on human interaction and showcasing a changing seasonal display of art and design.   Your contextual research should determine and respond to what uses the multi-functional exhibit space can be used for: art, sculpture, performance, dance, fashion, product launches, corporate events, or more.  The opening exhibit will be the launch event for a global theatre and performance brand of your choice.  The brand’s main show will take place at various theatres throughout South Africa, but the company wishes to have their grand unveiling event and exhibition in the ‘newly redeveloped’ Coke House.  Parts of the building’s original architecture are to be preserved, referencing the historical essence that was the Gas Works, the steel construction, and masterful brick laying. Considering both natural and artificial lighting, modern innovation and materials are encouraged, with the level of technological engagement (or dis-engagement) within the space being your decision.  Night or day, the building should stand as a focal point, responding to its environment and represent an ever changing and forward-thinking Johannesburg.


The above brief was given to us.  It was on to research from that point on and knowing very little about Jo’burg I had no other options but to ask my fellow students (that are from there) about the area and the rich culture (which I clearly wasn’t aware of) flowing through the mother city’s streets.

Johannesburg is home to an extensive portfolio of public art.  A diverse and evolving city, Johannesburg boasts a vibrant art scene and a variety of works that range from sculptures to murals to pieces by internationally renowned artists.  Many pieces are developed through community workshops, such as the Vilakazi Street sculptures.  Others are functional, such as street furniture found in the city centre.

The notion for a building that strengthens the people it serves has come forward through means of a megaphone.  Like a megaphone, The Urban Amp amplifies.  It’s main focus is the arts as that is it’s main function; however, it does act as an urban gathering space – an iconic piece of structure made to be used and explored by people.  It amplifies urban arts and culture as well as many local crafts otherwise unknown to the general public.  The Urban Amp also serves to enrich, develop and expand general urbanism culture – street life living.

Design Proposal for a Theatre Complex in Motherwell, Eastern Cape, South Africa


The design of a Theatre Complex within the rural township of Motherwell, Eastern Cape, South Africa.


To investigate theatres and playhouses.

To investigate appropriate spacial responses in both plan and section.

To investigate the structural implications and challenges related to theatre buildings.

The development of an appropriate aesthetic.

Developing the planning solution for a fairly complex building.

The exploration of existing urban context with the intention to develop an appropriate design within context.


This design came about through one main theme: to create an informal theatre complex to be used by all people – especially local performers and artists; hence its name The Siphiwo Ntshebe Theatre.

The conscious decision was made to create an open amphitheatre that can be used by anyone – and can be looked upon by passers by. The theatre complex also acts as a walk-through with two entrances; North and South respectively. The building aims at revitalising an important node within the township by being iconic in both shape and size.

Design Proposal of a Small Residential Dwelling in Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


We are to design a three (3) bedroom house. The Cartmans is a young family (the husband, wife and son) that recently moved to Port Elizabeth. They want to build their dream house for themselves and their son. Mr. Cartman is a music producer who works between home and office frequently. Mrs. Cartman is a psychiatrist that works at local schools – giving counselling to students in need. The family suggested that the perfect home would be one that entertains people (guests and occupants), has working space and functions as a cosy home.


The FAMILY as a generator for the design:
This The family’s input on your first encounter would be vital as that is when characteristics of different members can be identified and incorporated into a design. The needs of the members would also arise from this initial meeting.

The SITE as a generator for the design:
The site would give a good indication of limitations and give direction on initial form/space layout and design.
i.e. where the best views are, sun angles, wind directions, etc.

The house as a container for different functions:
This is where both aspects merge into one. The input from the client and the limitations are taken into consideration and final deductions are made in order to progress with a design.


The form of the design was based off the spectacular view one gets when looking North towards the sea (harbour). The view spans further than one-hundred meters and lights up with thousands of lights in the evening. The site is also sloping down from the access to the site hence a rigorous steel-frame support structure was implemented to deal with the steep descent. Dining space and guest reception as well as the kitchen, recording studio and master bedroom can all be found on the first storey which is also the access to the dwelling. The downstairs ground level is more privatised with two rooms and a lounge/entertainment area.

-Sheltered view to the North
-Tight and comfortable floor layout
-Natural sunlight in all rooms
-Opportunity for solar power/energy

Design Framework Proposal – Urban Design Workshop in Motherwell, Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth


South African cities are experiencing rapid social and economic changes. While retaining some of the pre-apartheid spatial systems, many cities are showing growth towards integrated spatial systems. On a local scale, Port Elizabeth is yet to show signs of a new integrated emergent growth pattern. Many parts of the city are still showing decay and underdeveloped urban precincts that requires catalytic initiatives to enliven them. A 2008 United Nations Habitat Review of World Cities found that South African Cities were the most inequitable and (by implication) inefficient in the world. In 2018, twenty-five years after becoming a fully democratic society, the World Bank estimate South Africa to still be the world’s most unequal country. The situation is forever worsening. The current structure and form of many South African cities imposes enormous costs on their inhabitants in terms of household budgets, productive time, environmental degradation, air and water pollution, infrastructural investment and greenhouse gas emissions. They are significantly and negatively impacting on some of the major challenges facing society, including increasing poverty, inequality and unemployment, climate change, fossil fuel dependence and food security. The spatial quality of these settlements is also almost ubiquitously poor. The majority of the population do not live in dignity. (Dewar, Louw et al).

Motherwell was originally developed to accommodate informal dwellers that were moved from the neighbouring areas of Zwide and Veeplaas in the 1980’s. The resultant growth of the town has been guided by a need for housing with no clear structure or form of urban space. The identified site has been chosen in order to give direction to how development should happen with the intention of creating an urban heart for Motherwell that could act as a catalyst for investment while creating a unique place with a unique character and identify that embodies Motherwell. In order to bring change, we cannot adopt the notion of ‘business as usual’. The way in which we create cities and urban places need to change. The current approaches to urban planning and design need to change. This has implications for all of the professions concerned with the built environment. This short studio seeks to expose students to a more responsible way of thinking, based on urban design principles.


To develop an understanding of about how cities and parts of cities (Urban Systems + Urban Space Types) should be structured or ordered in relation to spatial hierarchies

To increase awareness of how urban performance is defined and measured in terms of urbanity and livability and how design (Urban and Architecture) is used to create places that fulfil these criteria

To introduce students to the role of urban design in the making of human settlements and the implications of urban place making for architecture

To increase the student’s awareness between the relationships between the Precinct, the Block, the Street and the Building

To introduce students to form-based coding and how these codes further instil the ideals of the performance criteria at both an urban scale and a building scale

The engage students in the ability to represent ideas through spatial diagrams and present these ideas in a clear and logical way


Students are required to form teams of four to develop a conceptual urban design framework for the identified site in Motherwell. (The adjacent and surrounding environs to the site on which the Motherwell Theatre project has been done). Thereafter, a local precinct will be identified and developed in more detail with the accommodating form-based codes for at least two surrounding buildings.

The assumption is that the Municipality and key stakeholders have formed a Public-Private partnership and accessed funding to develop the site into a mixed-use precinct. This precinct will work in conjunction with the proposed Motherwell Railway Station intended to be built on the site. The make-up of the precinct should include; Social Housing, Gap, Housing, Mixed-used development, Small-medium commercial development and the necessary social facilities. The conceptual urban design framework will be the primary instrument guiding the development process. This is a 3-dimensional spatial exploration of creating urban space.

Design Proposal for a Mixed-Use Social Housing Village in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


We are to respond to the challenges of the context of our site and the needs of the surrounding community and to those still to become part of the immediate community and to those of the extended community who will visit or pass through or pass by.

Design a mixed use development that realises the full potential of the site, but also contributes to the consolidation and enrichment of the urban or quasi urban context in the village of Walmer. In this
instance the Mixed Use is to be made up of Residential and Commercial. The nature of the Residential must be that which falls within the definitions of “Social Housing”.


Provide for linkages and connections that help to integrate the development into the urban context

Respond to the urban context in a manner that is appropriate, generous and beneficial to the environment

Acknowledge the character of Heugh Road and 9th Avenue, as well as the proximity to the civic heart of Walmer

Consider space for informal traders / vendors

Accommodate the motor vehicle in a manner which is technically adequate (quantity and quality) but which does not allow the car to dominate

Provide a number of shopping outlets which will promote variety and vibrancy

Provide for residential living that falls within the definitions of “SHRA”


To investigate the implications of residential and commercial usage when
architecturally combined

Resolving the conflicts that can be associated with vertical planning and
servicing of a fairly complex building accommodation schedule

The development of an appropriate structural response for a 3 – 4 storey building

To investigate appropriate spatial responses in both plan and section to
accommodate the requirements for the different usage categories and
the different user groups. In particular to accommodate and celebrate the social interaction patterns of the diverse user groups who will enjoy the facility you create for them

The development of a suitable contextual response

The development of an appropriate aesthetic and economic (SHRA housing demands this) response

The investigation of appropriate materials

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