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Share the Shelter


“Share the Shelter” is considered as a mobile concept for a work in progress distributing knowledge, health and social responsibility.

“Share the Shelter” represents a platform for a conducted workshop where locals and foreigners, professionals and students are creating an interdisciplinary momentum, carrying the quality of a new public space for the region. The visualized example represents a frozen moment out of the line of flight, which is defined by the interaction between local and imported knowledge defining a work in progress carried by the self-reliance of African people. The roof elements which offer shade and contribute to the system of water conservation are set on the wall in the same way the constructions of African nomads are placed on the back of the camels. Also with all the other elements of the structure, the locals are deeply incorporated into the work in progress contributing their know-how.

“Share the Shelter” integrates the concept of industrial ecology with bioregional design, executed by a multidisciplinary team that seek to network material, energy, and informational flows within a bio-geographical context at all scales of development. The result is an organic aggregation of parts that creates a humble yet compelling form.


Launched in 2004, the “Siyathemba” competition challenged the world’s designers to create the “perfect pitch,” for the youth of Somkhele, South Africa, who are three times more likely to become HIV positive than youth in other parts of the world. (Siyathemba means “we hope” in IsiZulu.) In addition to serving as a gathering place for youth between the ages of 9 and 14, the facility will double as a health outreach center. The pitch will also be home to the area’s first girls’ football league.

On World AIDS Day, (December 1, 2004), the jury, which included, Paola Antonelli, curator of the Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, award-winning designer Yves Behar and Survivor: Africa winner and former pro-footballer Ethan Zohn, selected nine finalists and 16 honorable mentions. Finalists included established architects as well as young emerging designers from across the globe. Austria, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States were all represented.

The finalists’ schemes were displayed in schools and health centers throughout the area. Somkhele community members, including students, youth football players, nurses and teachers, then selected the the winning design. The Swiss-based team of Guy Lafranchi and Dietmar Panzenböck received third place standing. First went to the scheme by Swee Hong Ng and David Mathias and Tim Denis of Basildon, England placed second.


Somkele, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa

Project Details

NAME: Share the Shelter
PROJECT LEAD: Guy Lafranchi and Dietmar Panzenböck
LOCATION: Somkele, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
START DATE: May 24, 2004
CURRENT PHASE: Design development
COST: $5372 USD (Estimated)
PROJECT TYPE: Stadium/Sports Facility
CLIENT: Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies
DESIGN FIRM: Guy Lafranchi and Dietmar Panzenböck, Switzerland
PROJECT PARTNER: Architecture for Humanity