Urban Xchanger | The Table House

Urban Xchanger | The Table House

Of Change and Exchange and of Thinking out of the box


Filip de Boeck underlines the complexities of Kinshasa when he says “In the postcolonial era, the categories of centre and periphery and the range of qualities these words refer to, often became themselves rather states of mind than objective aspects in space”.  

Cape Town reflects such complexities too and Apartheid-driven exclusionary spatial models have made it a fragmented city, characterised by high unequal distribution patterns and a scarcity of points of social contact.

Between the existence of informal townships and cookie-cutter solutions (with a consistent track of failures) lays a strong awareness that a grassroots approach holds the potential for housing solutions and change.

Plans for the Table Project. Image credit ©Hands of Honour, Noero Architect, Bau Collective

The Table House in Philippi, Cape Town, was co-designed by acclaimed Noero Architects and BAU Collective (Berlin) with Hands of Honour, an energetic NGO that has won many international accolades. Together, they set out to bring forward solutions for the housing crisis, precarious living conditions, ncertainty of informal living and connected social issues such as unemployment and lack of access to education. 

The Table House is a solution for stability, in all its meanings, providing a sturdy structure that anchors a house to its site and dwelling to the city. The structure consists of four PVC pipes filled with concrete as posts (as legs) and steel beams and a concrete deck (as table top). The Deck can be a roof over an existing structure or a first floor. 

Plans for the Table Project.Image credit ©Hands of Honour, Noero Architect, Bau Collective

As much as human beings tend to love the status quo, the time to think –out-of-the-box is now!

The Table House project is currently on exhibition at the Urban Age conference at the Venice Biennale.


Get in touch with Cobute should you wish to share interesting stories that foster lateral solutions for our local housing crisis.

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