Home comforts

Providing the right solution between cool design and peace of mind, ZenKaya is a new local concept for prefab living and working space.

First Published in

ZenKaya – ‘Zen’ because it’s a trouble-free experience and ‘Kaya’ meaning home in a South African vernacular language – is for people who don’t want to spend time and energy controlling and managing the construction and design process, especially when the location is far away or isolated.

ZenKaya comes as a fully finished living unit made in a Pretoria factory. It comes completely assembled, ready to be connected to electricity, water and sewage. You can select your floor finishes, sanitaryware and kitchen elements from the standard design or specify your own.

The standard living units and sizes are:

  • ZenKaya Mini comes in 2.2x3.8m. It’s an extra room you can put in your garden or use as a home office, for relaxation or as a playroom.
  • ZenKaya STUDIO comes in 3.4x6.0m. It has a bathroom and a living/sleeping space. An optional kitchenette can be fitted.
  • ZenKaya LOFT Original comes in 3.4x12.0m. It comprises a bathroom, a kitchenette, a dining space, a living/sleeping area and a covered deck.
  • ZenKaya 1 BEDROOM comes in 3.4x15.4m. It comprises a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchenette dining area, a living space and a deck.

Modules can be added if the client wants something larger. For a long kaya, units are made up to 18m long or you can buy a one-bedroom unit plus a studio. In general, depending on your requirements and budget, an individual unit can be fashioned to meet your needs. ZenKaya is developing several other models to cater for different budgets, sizes and export markets.

Walls are highly insulated and come in two types: Option one is a highly insulated structural panel comprising a 75mm polystyrene panel sandwiched between two layers of 0.5mm white Chromadek. Option two is a wood frame off centre, 400mm with 50mm Aerolite and 0.5mm Chromadek on the outside.

Costs are R36 900 ex vat for the ZenKaya Mini upwards. Half the payment is required when ordering and the balance before delivery. Prices are ex-works and do not include delivery and transport to site, commissioning or any on site charges.

Depending on the size, level of customisation level and how busy the factory is, delivery takes five to 12 weeks after the order is placed.

The units can be delivered anywhere accessible by road and a flat bed truck. Delivery cost depends on the distance from the factory. If the site is flat and the position of the units allows passage for the truck then it can be offloaded without a crane. Otherwise you may need to organise a crane service.

See www.zenkaya.co.za or contact Eric Bigot on 082 833 3324 for more details. Always check with your local planning authority
or take professional advice on whether you may site ZenKaya on your land.

About the designer

Eric Bigot is a French national who trained in France at l’Ecole Boulle and The School of Architecture in Paris-La Villette. He’s been involved in projects in New York and has built low-income houses and a street children community centre with the Zambian government. His interests are finding affordable, well-designed solutions and simplifying the construction process for the client in order to give them an enjoyable experience. ZenKaya has received massive interest worldwide and Bigot is investigating the export market – but needs capital and interested potential manufacturers in Cape Town and Durban to supply the local and overseas markets at the right price.

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