urban think tank introduces the empower shack to the slums of western cape urban think tank introduces the empower shack to the slums of western cape
mar 08, 2014

urban think tank introduces the empower shack to the slums of western cape

’empowershack’ by urban think tank, cape town, south africa
in partnership with south african NGO ikhayalami and swisspearl ag
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank
all images courtesy of urban think tank

 

 

 

international studio urban think tank led by alfredo brillembourg and hubert klumpner are currently exhibiting the ‘empower shack‘ at the galerie eva presenhuber in zurich. the project is developed as an adapting response to urban informality, offering not only improved housing but a strategy that allows the citizens of self-built urban communities to dynamically structure their urban environment as an instant response to their needs. the empower shack was a largely collaborative project between U-TT, south african NGO Ikhayalami (‘my home’), swisspearl ag, transsolar, brillembourg ochoa foundation, meyer burger, the BLOCK ETH ITA research group, and videocompany. over the course of extensive research and close communication with community leader phumezo tsibanto, a prototype was developed featuring a two story metal-clad modular wood frame structure that is economical for the residents and can be self-built. jumping back in scale, the project also features a master plan that begins to structure informally developed neighborhoods to include courtyards, public space, and improved circulation through a ‘blocking out’ system.  each home is allotted a determined amount of space that allows the structure to expand as the inhabitants need it, still fitting within a more organized framework. transsolar has also made it possible to incorporate solar energy on every rooftop, making each house an energy-producing machine that would provide the necessary electric needs for the immediate residents and community. the ongoing project is intended to alleviate the housing crisis in informal settlements during a time when the government has begun incrementally improving the housing situation.

 

 


video © u-tt films

 

 

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front elevation
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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interior – lower level
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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upper level bedroom
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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constructing the house
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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prefabricated frames are tilted into place and connected
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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taking down the previous home
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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exhibition in zurich
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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various components from the first prototype, solar roof, steel frame core, wood frame structure
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

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students developed the first prototype during a workshop in switzerland
image © daniel schwartz | urban think tank

 

 

 

 

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