Gallery: 6 Great Green Designs that Put South Africa on the Map

South Africa is home to some of the world's most talented designers, and we have collected six amazing buildings to prove it. From the inspiring New Jerusalem Orphanage constructed from shipping containers to the rain-capturing Karoo Wilderness Center and the country's very first Hemp House, each project features progressive passive design techniques, sophisticated material selection and a distinct South African identity to pique global interest and make locals proud.

1. Visserhoek School

Tsai Design first become known to the international design world during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but they haven’t stopped producing environmentally and socially-responsible design. Visserhoek School located in a township a ways outside of Cape Town was carefully constructed out of recycled shipping containers to ensure that children from poorer homes have access to a healthy learning environment. Painted in bright, bold colors, this thoughtful design is one of those that literally changes lives.

2. Hemp House

Although hemp is still considered a narcotic in South Africa, Tony Budden and his partner Duncan Parker were so convinced of the redeeming qualities of this versatile and renewable fiber, they persevered with the construction of the country’s first hemp house. Wildly popular with local and international design enthusiasts, this gorgeous home just outside of Cape Town is also topped with a verdant green roof.

3. Karoo Wilderness Center

One of the most diverse places on earth, the Karoo desert in South Africa is simply magical and the Karoo Wilderness Center was designed to show visitors exactly what makes it so. But water doesn’t come easily to this region, so Field Architecture not only integrated this spectacular design within the fragile landscape, but they also created a rainwater capturing system that ensures the center remains self-sustaining.


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