This project is located at the intersection of a sloped footpath and a dirt road in Monwabisi Park, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. The site, an existing water-collection point, is edged by several shacks, a spaza shop and a collection of communal toilets. The activity generated by this context results in a site which is very active and highly traversed.
Water points typically become gathering points, owing to the fact that they serve several surrounding households and are situated on pedestrian routes. They often become play areas for children, due to the fact that women doing laundry are able to supervise their activities. Although these activities were pre-existing at the site, an architectural concept was developed to further encourage multiple uses of the space. Over-formalisation of the site was consciously avoided, and the intention was to merely create a series of platforms that supports and compliments the daily activities of the site, however these may evolve over time. Retaining walls, which also serve as seats, were introduced to create a sense of gateway into the platform area. Generous steps negotiate the level change on the site and become seats for children playing on the wide, pigmented concrete platforms.
Water run-off is channelled to a pit beneath the tap. This water is piped underground to the roots of two trees on either side of the platform. These trees provide much need shade and softens the otherwise hard and barren landscape.