- Structural & Electrical Engineering::Sutherland Engineering
- Design Team:studioMAS architects + urban design, Plus Arquitectura, Sean Mahoney, Michael Lumby, Charlton Botha, Sergio Aguilar, Katie Irvine, Luis Mira
- Principal Agent:Luis Mira Architects
- City:Cape Town
- Country:South Africa
Text description provided by the architects. The project is located in Cape Town in the centre of the Hout Bay valley. Access is gained directly from Main Road, where this portion of the route is part of the City’s scenic drive.
The school site is on a portion of what used to be the Kronendal Farm; -one of the farms with most historical relevance in the Western Cape. Today fragments of the original estate still remain, thus maintaining the farm character of the area.
The project concept is strongly led by the school programme but also highly influenced by the approval process, the farm surroundings and the geographical location.The approvals for this development have got a long history too, where public participation and long subdivision processes of the original property took place. The buildings are a result of more than a decade of negotiations among the authorities, the broader community and the school.
The completed Phase 1 follows the already defined Site Development Plan and building guidelines. Phase 2 is planned to commence construction as it is an integral part of the entire secondary and High school buildings.
The farm character of the buildings is reinterpreted under a contemporary approach. Separate barn-like buildings, thick masonry walls (that double up as storage space to the inside), exposed pitched roofs, and narrow vertical openings are some of the items carried through from the old to the new.
The separation of the building blocks creates wonderful interstice spaces in the outdoor; these are contained by ‘werf’ walls that isolate the noise and busyness of the main road, creating a sheltered environment for learning.
The location has got a remarkable condition, being next to the Disa River that connects the south end of Table Mountain to the Atlantic Ocean, in the centre of the valley. From this view point, looking up one can see the complete extent of Hout Bay. The ‘silhouette’ of the surrounding mountains is always present. Based on that, the building courtyards are left open to the sky and to the views of Table Mountain, Constantiaberg and Karbonkelberg mountains. From the inside of the class rooms, laboratories and offices there is always a window with a mountain peak to view.