Alexandra is an informal settlement on the doorstep of the'well off' northern financial and residential suburb of Sandton, Johannesburg.Many of the residents of Alex live in poverty, but make do with what they have.Alex is a vibrant and exciting area of Johannesburg that incorporates thestreet as a promenade. Tumi, a young entrepreneur from Alex has converted asmall space to the left of his Granny Clara's home into a Gym for the residentsof Alex. This initiative was taken as a result from the Mandela's YardInterpretation Centre that empowers the community of Alex through education andtourism. Mandel's Yard is built on the adjoining property to The Alex CommunitySport Centre's site, which is over ex-President Nelson Mandela's youthresidence. Tumi sees his modest gym growing into a more sustainable enterpriseempowering the youth of Alex through sport and education.
Jackson, a resident on Granny Clara's property will have hishouse removed from its location and placed above Sipho's house. This creates avoid that the new Gym will be built upon. A Steel frame structure combined withused materials will create a transition between the street promenade and thegym. The ground floor of the gym is to house the heavy weight equipment whilethe first floor is to provide a safe environment for a cultural dance andaerobic classes.
Tumi has already secured a small sponsorship from VirginActive Sport Centres, and intends on progressing with this funding to create asafe and well equipped sports facility.
Precedent study showed that creative methods of building areutilised in Alex, and as a result, create a beautiful tectonic unique toinformal settlements such as Alexandra. Finnbuilder, and economically viableproduct from South Africa of cement and river sand has been chosen for the structureof the building. Roofing follows the tectonic of Alex and therefore utilisemetal roof sheeting. Angle irons along with metal mesh will be used as infillfor windows and features.