See more objects with the tag construction, system, housing, make, exchange.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object began.


  • Work on this object ended.



  • You found it!

10 x 10 Sandbag House

This is a Project. It was architect: Luyanda Mpahlwa, Uli Mpahlwa and Kirsty Ronne. It is dated 2008–09. Its medium is sandbags, timber ecobeams, cement plaster, timber cladding, metal sheet roof, steel windows, timber door.

In Freedom Park, an informal settlement in Cape Town, corrugated-metal and scrap-material dwellings are being replaced by low-cost, two-story homes built with timber frames and sandbag in-fill construction. The design of the 10×10 Sandbag House features a structural timber frame using EcoBeam technology (timber beams with metal inlays that provide tensile strength) combined with sandbags reinforced with chicken wire and finished with plaster and timber cladding. The building method is cost-effective and energy-efficient, and requires only minimal transport since the EcoBeams are manufactured onsite. Little skilled labor is needed for construction, and local community members were involved in building the houses. Given the small plot sizes allotted by the government for Freedom Park, building up rather than out ensures a solution that can accommodate density.

  • Incremental Housing
  • chile: concrete, brick concrete, wood panels; mexico: concrete, concrete....
  • CITIES.023

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=10 x 10 Sandbag House |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 September 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>