The New Classroom Block follows on from an earlier project at Thandokhulu in 2008 when we designed two buildings for the school – an Administration building and a Science Laboratory that both contributed to the creation of a much-needed entrance court. As part of this 2008 project a new pedestrian brick archway was inserted to connect the new and old buildings together. The archway was designed to act as a gateway from the forecourt for any future work.
In 2013 a Hall was added to the school by others. In 2015 we were asked to prepare a proposal for a new eight classroom block. In addition we were also asked to prepare a master plan for the further expansion of the school. The master plan had to include additional classrooms, specialist classrooms and a multi-media centre - the required complement for a full school.
The placement of the new classroom block required the removal of some very dilapidated prefabricated classrooms that, despite their condition, were still in use. The removal of these prefabricated classrooms required the placement of new leased temporary classrooms to be located on the field for the duration of the construction so that the school had sufficient classrooms.
The placement of the new classroom block, opposite the existing double storey classroom block, also contributed to the creation a large central courtyard. One open end of this courtyard has a prominent long view, over the archway created in 2008, towards Devil’s Peak. The opposite open end of the courtyard will be completed in a future phase. Paving and landscaping of the courtyard will also only be completed in a future phase as funding becomes available.
The floor levels of the new classroom block tie up with the floor levels of the existing double storey classroom to simplify the future connecting walkways. This is not immediately apparent to those visiting the site due to the distance between the buildings.
The existing buildings are institutional looking with red facebrick plinths, plastered walls and detailed facebrick panels at main points. The same materials are carried through in the new building but in a more contemporary way. Red facebrick panels are used to articulate the elevations. On the courtyard side these stack bond panels provide shelter at classroom entrances with interesting slots allowing glimpses through. On the street side the facebrick panels relieve the monotony of the long classroom elevation.
Department of Transport and Public Works - Education
Western Cape Education Department
Laatoe Key Kotze cc
Gadomski Consulting Engineers
NWE Nkuthalo Wouter Engelbrecht (Pty) Ltd
De Villiers Reid Chiddy and Murray
Siyakhatala Safety cc