Sand-bag houses by MMA architects 4



Design Indaba 08: here's a new set of photos showing progress on the first sand-bag house being built at Freedom Park in Cape Town, South Africa.


Taken last week, the photos show builders and locals constructing the second level of the house using the EcoBeam sand-bag construction system. The first level has now been plastered and timber shingles are being applied to the upper level.


Designed by architects MMA, the prototype house is part of the 10x10 Housing Project, which is developing new affordable housing typologies.


The house has a budget of 65,000 Rand (£4,300/$8,600).


See more photos of the house being built in our earlier stories.

See images of other 10x10 Housing Project designs by teams including Tom Dixon, Thomas Heatherwick, Shigeru Ban and Will Alsop here.

Posted on Saturday March 22nd 2008 at 1:15 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • roadkill

    maybe we can open a blog just for this project… had more features than Santa Claus at Christmas…. give me a break, it’s not even that good!!!!

  • zuy

    it’s not a joke: palestinian could make house like this…

  • oz

    I don´t think it is so important here that the houses look great…the point is that the people get a chance to live in properly isolatet and good houses that only cost a fraction of a normally built house with similar standard.

  • Mia

    Isolate and insulate are two different words.

  • d h kay

    MMA must be congratulated for proving that cost-efficient eco-friendly housing can be built in South Africa using local skills and materials. Nevertheless, the construction techniques are not revolutionary and do not require such exhaustive coverage.

    Moreover, its saddening to see that the design merely proposes replacing the materials of the typical South African match-box low-cost house (the design is merely four walls and a roof). The actual formal design is inefficient (the two houses under construction make no attempt at sharing walls/roofs/services/circulation/etc..) and do not explore macro-scale efficiencies. Density is of critical importance if we are to address both the environmental and social problems facing South African cities.

  • socialicious

    ooh yeah.. gimme more, stroke that social conscience.. ohh uh uh harder harder yeah uh oh aaah….

  • …KrLoS…

    I totally think that this is a great job, architecture is for people not only for magazines and books. A project like this is really valuable, maybe not for the people complaining here….. but for sure the people that will receive this house…….they´ll be really thankful. Just think about it 1 min.

  • Richard

    Great, project with possily great implications.

  • Michael

    resource efficient
    easy to build
    hybrid of
    post and beam
    and earth technologies

    maybe a powerful confluence
    of simple ideas

  • how can i get more info on this kind of bilding.

  • trimtab21

    there are much cooler sandbag buildings on

  • R.Manivannan

    Great ,Wish to do similar a housing project in India using Bamboos.If somebody could help pls contact .

  • ECO lover

    Have you ever looked at
    The concept might be everything you said it is, but in the western cape things seem to have been going for a while.

    The true glory should go to Mike Tremeer by the looks of things – without him MMA would not have the concept…seeing that he is the patent holder. This will take construction to the next level