Find the best Architects in Soweto | homify

32 Architects in Soweto

Area

Located about 15 km from the centre of Johannesburg, Soweto is a former township from South Africa's apartheid past. Approximately three million people live in Soweto today, which comprises about 63 km² in size.

Like Johannesburg, Soweto was born from the country's discovery of gold in 1885. Thousands of hopefuls flocked to the area to seek their fortunes or to search for mining work. Residents of today's Soweto were first located in Coolietown in the centre of Johannesburg. Following an outbreak of the bubonic plague, the inhabitants were relocated to an area called Klipspruit in 1905. Temporary living quarters were set up for mine workers at first, but eventually Soweto became a ghetto for the black population of Johannesburg via 1923's Urban Areas Act. A government housing program was implemented to build hundreds of thousands of plain two-room houses, yet the illegal squatter camps evolved significantly.

Today, Soweto is a city of contrasts, where one can discover lavish mansions located mere feet away from tin shacks, and squatters living right next to suburban neighbourhoods filled with double-storey houses, flat-roof homes, schools and hospitals.

Housing situation in Soweto

Soweto might be known for its poor infrastructure, high unemployment and crime rates, yet only a few kilometres away lie Diepkloof Extension and Pimville – where Soweto's richest live. And this is evidenced by the assortment of modern luxurious homes (many valued above R1 million).

This is because modern-day Soweto has seen a rise in house prices that even outperform Sandton, Johannesburg's richest square mile. A growing need for houses has been discovered in more affordable areas such as Randburg, Midrand and Johannesburg's central business district (CBD). Yet the surrounding areas of Soweto and Lenasia have been performing much better than the posh northern suburbs in terms of rising house prices.

The top renovation/ building projects in this area

In addition to sufficient housing (whether double-storey houses or flat-roof houses in Soweto), the township also places emphasis on the upgrading and provision of recreational and sporting facilities, plus the greening of the city by rehabilitating the various streams, rivers and parks.

While green and safe parks were not a concern for the authorities in Soweto in the past, that has changed. One example of this is Thokoza Park, which incorporates Moroka Dam, which has reclaimed its status as a favourite outdoor attraction in Soweto. In addition to well-manicured lawns and paved footpaths, the 4,5 hecate park also boasts Soweto's first fountain.

Residents of Soweto are also privy to a host of outdoor / recreational / leisure facilities, which includes approximately 120 soccer fields, 6 swimming pools, 140 netball fields, 2 rugby fields, 3 boxing gymnasiums, plus a number of libraries and community centres.  

How to find the right professional for your house projects?

With homify's convenient collection of architects and other professionals in the architectural / design / building industry, finding the right expert is easier than ever before. Our professionals are grouped into relevant categories / South African cities to ensure you find potential candidates closest to you.

Where possible, we also provide additional data on each one, such as information and images of past projects, website and other contact details, and customer reviews.

After browsing through our lists and making your personal selection of architects, contact your favourites to set up an initial meeting. Bear in mind that some firms may charge a fee for this, so be sure to ask.

What to ask your Soweto architect at your first meeting?

Depending on the nature of your project (such as building a brand-new house or doing some minor alterations to an existing home), you may be working with your architect for quite some time. That is why it's important to ensure you are both on the same page regarding your project and budget by asking the right questions, such as:

  • Does your firm have the capacity to take on new projects at the moment?
  • What experience does the company have working on projects similar to mine?
  • Who will be in charge of my project? (you need to be introduced to this person well before the project commences)
  • What sort of fee and budget structure will you require from me?

Of course it's also crucial that your prospective architect have plenty of questions for you.

What will it cost to hire a professional?

Various factors will determine the final price of an architect, including:

  • The experience and expertise of the architect (experienced firms charge more than unknowns)
  • The quality and size of your project
  • The type of finishes you require
  • The location of your building site / project.

There are four ways which South African architects can go about to calculate their prices for a project:

  1. Project cost-based. Using the latest fee scale recommended by the SACAP, the architectural firm will construct their prices. Some architects can opt not to use this method and, instead, apply their own percentage fee. In general, the final costs of an architect's services can work out between 6 – 18% of the total construction budget.
  2. Time-based. It is possible that, if the scope of the client's project is not well defined, the client will opt to charge at an hourly rate instead. But take into account that not all clients are aware of just how much time an architect usually devotes to a project, which can (sometimes) equal a surprising amount of hours. However, it is possible for the client to control this amount by setting a 'cap' on the amount which can be billed in total.
  3. Square metre rate-based. A lot of architectural firms can calculate their fees based on the square metres of the project. This is usually reserved for projects detailing renovations and add-ons / extension. Keep in mind that the costs quoted by one architectural firm (which, for instance, can work out to R100/m²) can differ significantly from another (who can charge R1000/m² for the same amount of work).
  4. Combination of time and project cost-based. Smaller to medium-sized companies are usually more open to this option. At the beginning stages of the project, a time-based fee will be established. This is to determine the scope and concept design of the project early on. For the latter phases, the architect will go with a cost-based fee.
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