As a consequence of the new political dispensation in 1994, the Johannesburg City Council embarked on a project to construct “top structures” (buildings) on already proclaimed and serviced land designated for housing. This particular development was called River Park and was located just across a tributary of the Jukskei River from the “established” white suburban area of Lombardy East and on the east bank of the river opposite Alexandra, a traditionally black township.
In the first phase of the proposed 700 family scheme, 150 units were built and occupied.
The houses were double storey, well orientated and provided good quality exterior space in the landscape whilst contributing to an active streetscape. Maximum internal volume was achieved within the limited budget constraints, giving a sense of lightness and scale. The proposal demonstrates that low-cost, high-density housing can be built with sensitivity to good design.