Ifafa Housing Development, Kwazulu Natal, SA

This is a proposed housing community project at Ifafa, 80km south of Durban. It was founded by a group of likeminded people (approximately 40) who had a visionary idea about communal living into retirement years. The group’s ethos is one of deep respect for nature, and the pursuit of a conscious way of living in a supportive community in harmony with the surrounding environment, the existing community of Ifafa and the original natural landscape. The group challenges the ‘gated community’ ethos and is exploring an integrated approach to retirement living.

 

There are two sites, one primarily a wetland and the other to the west of the township of Ifafa, primarily a woodland site, with north facing slopes, protected dune grasslands and bush clump forest.

 

Together with Lees and Sort, Cohen and Garson sought to create a modular housing typology. The idea is that the modular unit (s) could cater for different sized dwellings and by careful placement, in relation to each other, create ‘outside’ rooms within and between dwellings, possible given the sub tropical climate. These modular dwellings would then be linked in ‘clusters’, necessary to facilitate green corridors between clusters.  Units were conceived of as ‘floating’ above landscape to minimise disturbance. 

 

The role of the architects has also been to facilitate and inform shareholders in all stages of the design.