This project is located in the eastern suburb of Wallacedene, the poorest informal housing settlement in Cape Town. Our clients run a Nonprofit Organisation whose mission is to change local residents’ lives through preaching, caring and counselling for those who realise a need to develop skills in order to have sustainable livelihoods. The building will be a multi-use community centre for both early childhood development and skills development training.
The initial design concept focused on creating a special sanctuary for the children and a place they can be proud of. We have developed the plans further, ensuring functionality and providing the necessary layers of security. On arrival, the corner entrance exhibits a sense of place the neighbourhood desires and the building has a grand colourful presence with a wall of children’s art fired onto ceramic tiles. While creating a secure road edge, the playfulness of the internal architecture is hinted at through the classroom facade. The built-up edges break away and lead you in, under full sight of the glazed security office.
The architecture brings life to what could typically be designed as familiar spaces, with the use of dynamic playful forms, textured materials and bright colours. The concept echoes a series of oversized building blocks, built-up and positioned around an imaginarium playground, semi covered at the transition space between inside and out. Each classroom has direct and visual access to the playground which has been split up into levels and zones, creating many different opportunities of play for each year group rather than a vast open space.
Greg Truen, Roxanne Kaye, Adrian Monger, Puja Patel, Ian Cox, Irshaad Allie, Dominik George & Johan Basson