Field Architecture

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Set at a crossroads in Zwide, a township in Port Elizabeth, this multipurpose center provides pediatric HIV/AIDS testing and treatment, as well as spaces for dance classes, performance, and social functions. By including non-health-care activities and placing the building at an important intersection, the Ubuntu Education Fund aims to integrate the center with the local community and make HIV care a part of people's daily lives. Stan Field, who grew up in Port Elizabeth, and his son Jess designed the building as a series of poured-in-place concrete structures that seem to lean on each other and embody the client's mission of people supporting one another. Founded in 1999 by a young American, Jacob Lief, and a South African teacher, Banks Gwaxula, the Ubuntu Fund is dedicated to providing education and health care to children from birth to adulthood.

ARCHITECT: Field Architecture

BUDGET: $6 million

CONTEXT: The building replaces a post office that had been burned down as a symbol of apartheid. Opened in October 2010, the center acts as part of the community's recent transformation, says Stan Field.