Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
The problems of excessively low residential densities are of increasing concern to South African policy makers. This paper describes a new model that could be utilised to increase residential densities. This alternative is inspired by local informal housing processes.
The paper analyses both spatial and non-spatial problems associated with the government's housing subsidy programme. It then explores how housing beneficiaries have creatively addressed some of these issues by transforming their subsidised houses, primarily through the addition of back yard rooms. The paper then describes a new housing typology which uses backyard rooms as a valuable precedent. The illustrated paper examines design issues that arise when designing at an optimal 100 units/ha such as:
• Strategic placing of the initial unit;
• Accommodating additions to the initial unit;
• Utilising the site effectively to ensure adequate outdoor space;
• Enabling occupation by a number of households;
• Accommodating home-businesses;
• Contributing to streetscape; and
• Balancing public and private space.