An Architecture for the Discriminated

  • WOMEN'S ISSUES AS A DEVELOPMENT ISSUE South Africa is currently considered the rape capital of the world. In fact, a women is raped approximately every four seconds. This has led to the oppression of women throughout the country, and certainly seen in Alexandra Township, a dense township outside of Johannesburg. This project aims to investigate the many problems of women in Alex, and then create a holistic program to empower women and shift the cultural perception of gender.
  • Perceptions occur as a combination of experience and information. With a long history of female oppression in South Africa, a wide-spread cultural idea of gender has led to accepted violence throughout the area.
  • In fact, women are discriminated against on nearly every front. Even with a slightly higher amount of the population being female, women make up the greatest amount of the unemployed as well as most of the informal sector.
  • This cultural acceptance has led to a network of issues facing women. In order for the cultural perception of women to change and violence to end, this endless cycle of oppression needs to be interrupted.
  • Alexandra Township is home to approximately 400,000 residents, yet there are only five programs in the entire township dedicated to empowering women.
  • Here are a series of precedents that have all successfully merged programs that empower women through education, providing employment, community space, and an area to generate income.
  • LET ALEXANDRA BE A MOTHER The goal of this project is to provide another resource to Alexandra Township. In order to do this, women should be seen as your mother, your sister, your daughter. Below are the goals of this project.
  • London Road connects Alexandra Township with the city of Johannesburg. This busy highway creates a strong edge to Alexandra, where many local residents from Alexandra come to sell goods and many outside residents pass by in transit. London Road is a primary location for the housing shelter in order to draw attention to the issue of women's rights while still being accessible to Alex.
  • The Youth Precinct in Alexandra is situated along London Road, across from a very active Taxi Rank as well as the Central College of Johannesburg in Alexandra Township. The high amounts of activity and possibility of using a site along London Road creates significant access to near-by program, yet also the ability for safety and a quiet environment for the housing.
  • The fragmented complex will create an internal courtyard for the housing, while also creating a strong outdoor plaza for informal markets close to the formal retail section.
  • [Project is currently in progress. This is from the beginning to mid-review.]