​Greenpop volunteer accommodation: A stylish home away from home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Till Manecke:Architect Kitchen
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Greenpop, an NGO (non-profit organisation) with a mission to plant trees through urban greening and reforestation projects, is all about spreading environmental awareness. Yet with the bulk of their volunteers coming from all over the world, adequate living quarters were essential for the team.

No problem, as that is exactly what TILL MANECKE: ARCHITECT in Cape Town delivered. Taking the organisation’s existing facilities in Cape Town (located on the top floor of a 50s industrial building and consisting of randomly found and donated furniture), the professionals in charge cast all eyes on their brief: to turn the existing two rooms, in an otherwise, open-plan space, into shared hostel-type bedrooms. 

In addition, it was requested to add a bathroom, a new formal kitchen with dining area, plus a lounge, for the growing number of volunteers. 

The experts’ plan? To create a unified design identity and a bright, friendly and comfortable ‘home away from home’ for the volunteers, whose stay can last anywhere between six weeks to three months.

A tight budget which turned into a flattering design

open plan kitchen dining Till Manecke:Architect Living room
Till Manecke:Architect

open plan kitchen dining

Till Manecke:Architect

As the budget was not gigantic, a lot of the existing furniture pieced had to be reused. The kitchen, the most costly space of the renovation project, was built using standard ‘flat pack’ type carcasses, doors and open shelving.

These were combined with affordable, handmade counters and contemporary tiles, ensuring a modern, user-friendly space with a ‘designed for purpose’ appearance.

A clean, low-key look

open plan kitchen dining Till Manecke:Architect Living room
Till Manecke:Architect

open plan kitchen dining

Till Manecke:Architect

Both the bathroom and kitchen spaces were placed to ensure the professionals could tap into the existing water supply and drainage. For the dining area and lounge, the designs were tailor-made in order to fit into the remaining spaces.

And to complement the organisation’s vision, materials used for the project consisted of inexpensive, locally produced and eco-friendly products.

The heart of this home

open plan kitchen dining Till Manecke:Architect Kitchen
Till Manecke:Architect

open plan kitchen dining

Till Manecke:Architect

Furthermore, new ceilings and lighting were introduced to give the interiors a less industrial, more homely feel. And as we all know how comfy and sociable the correctly designed kitchen can be, the professionals took it upon themselves to install a whole lot of character into this new culinary design.  

Sleek-white subway-style tiles ensure subtle texture for the kitchen, complemented beautifully by beach-hued wood coating up countertops and the breakfast bar.

The ‘before’ kitchen

photo of the space before we started Till Manecke:Architect Kitchen
Till Manecke:Architect

photo of the space before we started

Till Manecke:Architect

Looking at the ‘before’ condition of the kitchen, the opinion is unanimous that the makeover is 100% successful!

An environmentally friendly design

Working with minimal building intervention, the professionals endeavored to reuse and recycle wherever they could, so as to reduce the carbon footprint.

For relaxing and socialising, the lounge now sports a spacious layout, complete with colours, patterns, layered fabrics and lots of natural lighting – all must-have elements of any comfortable living room. 

And let’s not forget about those amazing views flooding indoors via the generous windows and glass doors – views that consist of both the Mother City and Table Mountain itself! 

Let’s scope out a few more images that speak of this accommodation space’s stunning new look.

Want to see what else these professionals are capable of? Let’s scope out The Cape Town family home with unbeatable style.

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