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©2018 by Peter Rich Architects

9 Escombe Ave, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193

THULUMTWANA CHILDREN’S FACILITY

Weiler's Farm, Lenasia, Gauteng, South Africa

The project, the first of its kind to be both child owned and managed, is a prototype

for other initiatives that will acknowledge children’s rights in informal settlements.

Emerging from a considered research process, the project’s setting in an informal

settlement seeks to dignify the young and their work, and offer hope for social

transformation in a bleak context.


Three modified shipping containers, shade structures and low enclosing walls were

employed to articulate a series of outdoor rooms and courtyards for playing and

learning. Mounded earth provided access to the roof of one of the containers in

response to the children’s expressed need for places to climb in what was a barren

treeless environment. The other containers, at the wish of the children, were

designed as places for doing homework. As the existing settlement had no trees

or other means of shelter from the sun in the public realm, a strong emphasis was

placed on providing shade. These formed ‘outdoor rooms’ with places to sit and

rest whilst also functioning as secure places for social gatherings, workshops and

meetings to discuss community issues.