Brickworks //Socio-Urban Upliftment// – Heidi van Eeden


Soshanguve is a township situated about north of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa and also the site of the second fab lab in South Africa, by the Bright Youth Council.  Much like how Fab Labs are putting modern digital fabrication into the people’s hands, Heidi van Eeden projects approach was to design a contemporary Agora.  Brickwork’s wants to become more then a trade school, but the building itself is to be a model for furthering development in its immediate surroundings.  To empower the locals to learn, build, and strengthen their own urban context  Check it out after the jump!

STUDENT: Heidi van Eeden
University of Pretoria, South Africa
PROFESSORS: C. Combrinck, G. White
COURSE: BA Honors – 4th Year

D:HeidiHons 2012RFP710revit modelrenders attempt 2 - Sheet

“The notion of socio-urban upliftment is explored through self-developmental architecture:

A Brickwork’s is proposed in Soshanguve township, north of Pretoria (South Africa) The idea of a multi-functional building will serve as a form of urban acupuncture in this rural area, not only encouraging skills training and education in masonry trade, but also empowering locals to create their own environments:  the building simultaneously teaches a skill, encourages further development of its immediate surroundings, and suggests the nature of the urban fabric. (by introducing masonry construction as a local skill and building material, the Brickwork’s generates its own context, strengthening Soshanguve’s urban character and becoming an inherent part of its context)

frameworkWith time, the building will be able to produce materials to extend itself (e.g. produce bricks in which to add more kilns/workshops, etc.), encouraging further production, urban development, and social upliftment through job creation.

ROWEAs the surrounding urban context develops, needs of the people will change from basic (e.g. job creation/food production) to complex (e.g. artistic expression/social interaction) the Brickwork’s therefore contains the capacity for internal change – with Kiln tower becoming orientation point/clock tower/silo for food storage. Ultimately, what is created is not merely a Brickwork’s. but a contemporary Agora – a place for gathering, working, learning, living.”
-Heidi van Eeden

Check out the rest of Heidi van Eeden work at


FUTURES+ Orginal Post by Ryan Stokes


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