House Puseletso – TUT Architecture, Community project handover

House Puseletso is more than a project

by Reatlegile Ratlagane and Tshegofatso Malehodi

Determined to make a difference in the community, the Department of Architecture handed over a complete light steel frame construction house to Puseletso Laestock, a 38-year-old mother of two, at the Itireleng Informal Settlement on Friday, 30 August.

In an attempt to show the community what value design can add, two lecturers at the Department, Dr Emmanuel Nkambule and Victor Mokaba, with the help of third- and fifth-year students, as well as Etex and Marley Building Systems, assembled a home for the Laestock family.

The light steel frame construction home is composed of prefabricated components that can easily be removed and reconfigured into another context, should the need arise. The team worked tirelessly for eight days to also develop new spaces and improve existing ones in Itireleng. Victor said the project was a steep learning curve for the team, since they had to figure out the relationship between the construction materials, construction details and design intentions. This information was documented with the aim of improving and refining the building system for future use. Puseletso said the team exceeded her expectations. “With the challenges that we face in the community, I really appreciate every bit of help I receive from anyone. This realised my dream to own my own shelter, for which I am forever grateful.”

The Department of Architecture has a number of other ongoing and future projects in Itireleng, including a phased Taxi Facility Upgrade and a furniture and insulation project for the pre-school.