The Emavundleni Centre for HIV Research was established by the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF). Moroff & Kuhne Consulting Engineers were part of a team of professionals involved in this project, including architects Anesa & Barbosa in Cape Town.
The DTHF is based at the Medical Facility at the University of Cape Town and has already established centres in many poverty stricken communities in the Cape Peninsula. DTHF is a registered non-profit organization that consists of over 100 dedicated doctors, nurses, researchers and community trained field workers, who are involved in research training and treatment of HIV and related diseases.
ERF 27 was eventually selected as the most suitable site by the Crossroads Community Advisory Board (CAB). The land, which belongs to the City of Cape Town and leased to the DTHF, is irregular in shape has nine boundary lines, eight of which border onto roads.
Local resident labour was used on the project, including a group of four or five women who were enlisted to make sure that the men were working at a regular pace. “It was quite funny to see these ladies with their hard hats checking up on their husbands to make sure they were working!” laughs Mike Kuhne, who was involved in the project.
Moroff & Kuhne attended to all the engineering requirements as well as the council submissions and tenders. The main part of the building is a double-storey U-shape. The public areas are accommodated on the ground floor, while the staff areas are on the first floor.
The double-volume foyer is a major source of natural light for the building and the mezzanine-like first floor allows for monitoring of staff. Corrugated canopies over the windows provides natural ventilation while three areas in the building do require constant temperatures (the laboratory, pharmacy and phlebotomy) by means of air-conditioning. A generator has also been provided for emergency power.