Cultural center
Cape Town, South Africa

Marx arkitektur works with a pre-study with the aim to accomplish a cultural center in Cape Town, South Africa. The client Soundz Of the South (SOS) visited Stockholm in August 2017. The preparations for the project startup have been running low flame but steady until recently when Marx Arkitektur and the Swedish cultural center Cyklopen achieved money from IASPIS for a first trip down to the site in Cape Town during November 2018.

The ame with the trip was to understand the context of the project. Fieldtrips, mapping workshops, discussions and meetings with local culture- and democracy projects took place. The material from the trip is being processed and complemented in order to become architectural program with high ambition. In addition to this it serves as a documentation of the project that might come in handy for later publications, applications, reports etc. The documentation is still a work in progress and therefore, not public jet.

In March 2019 SOS will come to Stockholm financed by ABF international to continue the work and prepare for a bigger conference organized in Stockholm early June 2019 between Marx arkitektur, Cyklopen and SOS. The conference is aiming to broaden the projects understanding of their own work and take Mkhululi Freedom Station to the next step in the process, physical realization.

Results of the mapping exercise below:

Mapping av Kapstadens township Mapping av Khayelitsha Mapping av studieresa

The area where the cultural center is planned is described below by SOS:
“Khayelitsha is a township in Western Cape, South Africa, located on the Cape Flats in the City of Cape Town. It is the largest and fastest growing township in South Africa. Originally, it was established as an “apartheid dumping ground” in the mid 80’s as a part of the “Group Areas Act”. In the last ten years the population has risen from 400,000 to 2.4 million, 50% of which are under 19 years of age. Unemployment rate is 73%, with 70% living in shacks. 89% of homes are considered moderately to severely food insecure. The extreme poverty, coupled with poor community infrastructure, lead to immense crime rates, gangs, violence, drugs as well as other societal ills.

These challenges, while experienced by everyone, are perhaps most harshly felt by young people. Unemployment and limited access to quality education further exasperate these dismal conditions. SOS works within this context, a product of historical oppression, continued injustice and marginalization. “ SOS

The project summary:
“The Centre is an open, safe and empowering space to be founded by a collective of community activists, hiphop artist and creative social entreprenuers, providing a unique alternative social, pedagogical and organising experience for members of the wider Khayelitsha community. The Centre is modelled after Cyklopen in Stockholm, Sweden and various European social centres, but also recalling the importance of the Bantu Men's Social Centre, an anti-apartheid mainstay in Johannesburg.

Bringing together diverse groups that focus on art, skills development, popular education, and community organising, the Centre will be a cooperatively run space which refuses to privilege any individual but rather seeks to build consensus amongst its members in moving the project forward.


With the goal of becoming one of the first community-run social spaces in the Cape Flats, the Centre will be a safe space
for people of diverse backgrounds who seek to engage with and involve thousands of locals and people from all over the
Cape Town townships.“ SOS

Kapstaden kåkstad

Del in front of shack that SOS helped building after the Khayelitsha fire.

Khayelitsha Kapstaden

Sos on fieldtrip looking at possible sites for the new center.

Uppträdande på Kulturhuset Cyklopen

SOS performing at Cyklopen.