Batlagae Primary School

Competitions

Batlagae Primary school is situated approx. 20km from Middelburg, Mpumalanga in the rural town of Doornkop. Vuna mining group approached Archaus to assist with the design of 10 new class rooms, a reception area and office at Batlagae as part of their social responsibility budget for the year.

Batlagae Primary school is situated approx. 20km from Middelburg, Mpumalanga in the rural town of Doornkop. Vuna mining group approached Archaus to assist with the design of 10 new class rooms at Batlagae as part of their social responsibility budget for the year. Corobrik joined in as a sponsor and donated all the bricks for the project.

The design approach was to define a new assembly courtyard by adding the classrooms in a u-shape at the back of existing buildings, then the level difference on site allowed for a small stage podium from where the principal could address the pupils. An element of playfulness was included by allowing windows to be at varying heights. The design team wanted to allow primary school children to be aware of how much they grow during a year as they would be able to look out of a higher window as their school career progressed. A splash of colour was added for good measure.

As with many community based projects, this project was just as much about the process as the outcome. The existing school was built on ground previously owned by the local chief and subsequently run by a Community Land Owners Association, which meant extensive negotiations took place in order to commence with the project. As part of the conditions from both the sponsors and the CLOA, the contractor had to be local. The contractor was appointed on a labour only rate as most of the materials were also donated, this meant a hands-on approach from Archaus to assist with ordering, management and monitoring of the materials on site, guiding the contractor and explaining architectural drawings. The design team was met with dismay and confusion over the varying window heights and sizes on the building.

 

 

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