Architektur als Social Design

Ukuqala 2 sun sail


2012 – Grabouw, Südafrika
Institut für öffentliche Bauten und Entwerfen, Prof. Arno Lederer,
responsible for planning: Dipl. Ing. Victoria von Gaudecker, Dipl. Ing. Leslie Koch
responsible for realization: Dipl. Ing. Leslie Koch
collaboration: Véronique Pavelec

Students: Selina Ahmann, Hans-Christian Bäcker, Christoph Dörrig, Marc Ellis, Jonas Gistl, Alexandros Grammatikopulos, Hannah Klug, Johanna Köhler, Florian Kaiser, Kira Laage, Andreas Lerchl, Josephine Lüders, Alicia Ruiz Caballero, Nina Schaal, Tilman Schmidt-Föhre, Maximilian Seibert, Benjamin Straub, Tine Teiml, Oliver Teiml, Suryu Um,Maximilian Umbach, Leonie Weber, Susanne Wolff, David LaVigne, Jonas Ruf, Marianne Trauten


Ukuqala means „beginning“ in Xhosa, one of the 11 official languages in South Africa. The beginning was made with the diploma thesis of Leslie Koch and Ulrike Perlmann at the Institute of public building and design at the University of Stuttgart, Prof. Arno Lederer in 2010.


The pilot project started with a guideline of sustainable building and the introducing of practical building as part of theoretical studies. Since then over 70 students have been in South Africa to build for the Non-governmental- organisation Thembalitsha in Grabouw, a neighboring township from Cape Town. Thembalitsha helps children, who are both directly and indirectly affected by HIV. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 2 million Aids-affected orphans live in South Africa. Since 2001, that number has increased by around 30 procent. In the last couple of years the institute at the University, together with the students has developed a masterplan for the Village of Hope and built step by step three houses for volunteers and children in need.


„build together, learn together“


The construction of the houses was a joint effort between the students from the University of Stuttgart and local inhabitants of Grabouw. The local south africans were hired and paid with the donated funds. The young Stuttgarters, on the other hand, worked without reciprocation. In preperation, the residences were planned meticulously and constantly rethought. Careful consideration for humans and the surrounding environment was always taken in the planning process. Use of sustainable building materials was a main focus.The house is built with local materials, bought max. 20km away from site.


Through quality labor from the students, the traditional aspects have been presented in a new light. The building should not be seen as randomly placed, but help and even inspire local inhabitants from Grabouw to discover new building elements and techniques that could eventually be used in building their own homes. In addition to the renovation of ukuqala3 children houes, the students also built 3 independent sanitary pavillons as a bathroom for the ukuqala2 building. The facade of the pavillons is covered with recycled, used and donated printing plates from the most famous newspaper of Cape Town.


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