African Design Magazine April 2016 - Page 44

“The pursuit of green building certification was born out of the fact that we were already incorporating many principles of sustainability in the school’s interior fit out; and it allowed us to include many more initiatives into the design, particularly around improving the indoor environmental quality to create a better learning environment. Most importantly, the school will be a living laboratory that allows learners to be introduced to environmental concepts at an early stage in their lives.” Design philosophy The location of the school at ground floor level, adjacent to an open-air courtyard, provides both passive and active surveillance for a safer learning environment in one of the city’s most underprivileged neighbourhoods. The goal was to develop an interactive learning environment by creating spaces that would enhance the Streetlight School‘s curriculum, with an adaptive low cost built form merged with the requirements of a high technology learning model. The result is a multi-functional learning centre that implements green construction practices as far as possible. Fieldworks Design Group has been working closely with Streetlight Schools from the start, from designing the spatial master plan and detailed elements, to physically building the first computer lab, to handling the graphic design and signage manufacturing. Albert Smuts, project architect, says, “Being involved from an early stage was key to creating a space radical enough to host a learning model as progressive as this one; and it enabled us to deliver a product that was both cost effective and architecturally interesting. “One of our design philosophies is ‘low material, high technol