Athlone Inclusive Harvest
How can inclusive development reduce inequality through community living & civic agriculture?
Services: Urban Strategy and Visioning, Research, Design.
The design proposal by Archliving, BTT Studio and Terramanzi in partnership with Our Future Cities, features a mixed-density residential texture that is closely connected to the site's commercial and public uses. It represents an alternative to the current single-family home sprawl and opposes the geographical and societal trends of urban fragmentation and segregation.The proposal's three main pillars—civic agriculture, urban and communal living, and business—engage various local stakeholders to encourage the emergence of new communities through design, the arts, and food culture. With a primary structure hosting services and a flexible second register of light mezzanines and partitions which can adapt to every necessity, the building is envisioned as a low tech open infrastructure that allows for a phased and incremental construction strategy.
The Western Cape's diverse flora has habitats in the courtyard and terraces of this building. They range in elevation from luxuriant tropical flora to a desert garden, graded according to the availability of water and wind protection. These ecosystems serve a functional purpose as well. Instead, they are farming plots, which serve as the heart of the Inclusive Harvest.
It is intended for the facade to be an essential component of the infrastructure. In addition to collecting and harvesting water from the air, large permanent panels are intended to act as windbreaks and serve as an open manifesto for a new generation of South Africans. The purpose of commissioning local artists to create the building's design is to create a distinct cultural character for the structure that is consistent with the goals of the plan and its intended users.Athlone Inclusive Harvest is a living system that can adapt to its surroundings and change over time, leading to a dynamic dialogue with its users.
This proposal was submitted as part of the C40 Reinventing Cities competition for the construction of an urban block in Cape Town's Athlone neighbourhood.
Inclusive Harvest is an open infrastructure, where local stakeholders are engaged to boost a process of community formation across arts, design, and food culture. It’s a pilot project, replicable and adaptable to different urban ecologies.
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