Ubuntu Centre

The Ubuntu Centre's program includes facilities for HIV care and education. To destigmatize getting tested in this South African community, the center folds a healthcare mission into one of adult education, community engagement, child care, and more.

The concrete, glass, and gum-pole-clad volumes of the Ubuntu Centre stand out amid the urban fabric of Zwide, but the massing is intentionally broken up into multiple volumes to avoid overwhelming neighboring buildings. On the south façade, the education wing anchors the corner, followed by the community hall and clinic.

The north face runs along the township's main street; volumes hold flexible meeting spaces (with a vegetable garden on the roof) and a staff lounge.

A garden court serves as a gathering space and helps bring natural light into the adjacent clinic.

A rooftop vegetable garden is used a space to educate the community on how to plant and tend their own gardens. The vegetables produced are used to create meals for the children who come to the center.

Gum-pole trellisses cover the building's glazed end walls, such as those around one of the main entries.

Interior circulation is handled via a skylit path that is paved with the same type of stones that form the approach paths to the building.


The double-height community hall is used for concerts and other events that encourage neighbors to engage with the center.

Community Hall interior, with hand-carved double entry doors.

Views out through the trellis are modulated by frosted and clear glass.

Join the Discussion

Please read our Content Guidelines before posting

Close X