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Rhodes University, Education Building
Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

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THEMBELA ARCHITECTS (PTY) LTD: Architect

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Date:2015
Type:University
Status:Extant
 
SAIA EC Award for Architecture 2015


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33°18'59.20" S 26°31'23.09" E Alt: 561m
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Award for Architecture Citation

This polite and appropriate project is a finely crafted mature response in the challenging context of the St Peters Heritage precinct. The major articulation of the ground plane by the design team to form a cohesive integration between the traditional and the contemporary is what sets this project apart. New and old courtyards flow and connect through the new building. The new building ensures practical circulation to the old by means of a creative link through gutting the ground floor of the flanking extant wing.

The architectural language respects the context. The old /new totality is achieved through appropriating a borrowed aesthetic, employed to create a contemporary building.

The use of materials both traditional and contemporary is well detailed. There seems to be a missed opportunity though, as some linkage to the adjacent Botanical Gardens would have been desirable. Also, the placement of administration offices seems awkward and the offices themselves a bit poky and removed from the complex. As a whole the dexterity and architectural politeness make the project a fitting recipient of a regional Award for Architecture.


Writings about this entry

South African Institute of Architects. 2016. Awards : South African Institute of Architects. Awards for Excellence, Awards of Merit, Regional Awards for Architecture 2015/2016. Cape Town: Picasso for SAIA. pg 89

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