Estate Living Magazine Investment - Issue 34 October 2018 - Page 10

CROSSWAYS FARM VILLAGE Just over 200 kilometres east of Thesen Islands is Crossways Farm Village, which also garnered an award for CMAI Architects at IFLA this year. Unlike Thesen Islands, which is situated within an established town, and even within a national park, Crossways is a stand-alone development that is intended to create a whole new community. But it’s not in the middle of nowhere – it’s a mere 40 kilometres from the city of Port Elizabeth, so it has the best of both worlds: rural quiet and, when needed, urban access. CMAI Architects’s thinking behind Crossways Farm Village (CFV) was to create: t he first contemporary rural new town based on commercial agriculture in South Africa where anyone, irrespective of race or creed, could purchase a plot and build a home, create a living, participate in the economy, and benefit from what a sustainable modern rural new town can offer.” CFV extends over 540 hectares of land, of which 120 hectares are under permanent irrigation with registered water drawing rights out of the Van Stadens River. A full-scale analysis of soils, vegetation, the degree of slopes, hydrology, climatology, and existing infrastructure was conducted to map out the site’s opportunities and constraints, and – ultimately – to identify optimal locations for the three basic land uses, namely agriculture, nature conservation and human settlement. The IFLA award vindicates CMAI’s vision of creating a workable contemporary rural community in South Africa, and, according to the judges, ‘demonstrates that villages can be alternative enjoyable places for people to live, work and play,’ and that it has the potential to help resolve ‘conflicting issues of agriculture and urbanisation.’ What is particularly heartening about these two awards is that they recognise – as does CMAI – that it is only when we start to put as much effort and creativity into creating affordable and sustainable communities as we do into creating luxury estates that we will really start to redress some of the inequalities plaguing our beautiful country. 8 | Di Brown