In 2007, Luyanda Mpahlwa of MMA Architects was one of ten architects challenged by Design Indaba to build experimental homes on the government subsidy budget of $6,900 in Freedom Park, a shantytown on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Mphahlwa replaced traditional brick and mortar foundations with a less costly two-story structural frame made from timber combined with sandbag construction as fill for the walls. In addition to its thermal and sound-absorbing properties, the sandbag construction also requires little to no electricity or skilled labor to erect. Building of the house turned into a community project, with local women pitching in. For more, go to the Curry Stone Design Prize website.