Sustainable Middle Class House
Riebeek Kasteel

Moving away from the city where Leán (my wife) and I grew up put us in a position to rethink our lifestyle. When I got the chance to design a new house for us on a small plot of land in the countryside, I jokingly but fondly referred to it as our sustainable middle class project. Wouldn't it be nice if we could reinvent ourselves to be greener, thriftier and still be respectable next to the Joneses? The trendy South African design magazine Visi featured an article on our attempt to achieve some of those ideals and quoted that I was pleased to hear a teenager call the metal house a white man's shack, as the design was influenced by both the modernist sensibility of Copenhagen and the low-budget frugality of Khayelitsha, a shantytown outside Cape Town.