2023 ~ Waverley, Johannesburg
South Africa

Our addition to the St Mary’s campus envisages the future of education. By deviating from the traditional forms and formats of schools we have expanded a new way of creating educational spaces. We have worked a contextual approach to the building interpreting different languages of architecture throughout the school into our design to create a sense of coherence with the new building.

The development was planned along the two main campus axial lines of the Junior and Senior Schools, and that of the visitor parking and drop-off parking areas, making it a nexus and entrance point to the school. This intersection splits the building into four parts to be moved through rather than be arrived at, allowing intimate in-between spaces for breakaways from classes and for pupils to inhabit at break and after school.

The design creates spaces that facilitate incidental learning, which extends beyond the classroom space; to prompt engagement and discussion among peers; and to provide flexibility to explore, while maintaining the benefits offered by traditional classroom spaces.

Our approach to sustainability extends beyond ticking the boxes of green architecture by turning the building into a tool for sustainable education. Water, energy, mechanical, and passive design systems were designed into the fabric of the building so that pupils can learn about sustainability holistically.