African Design Magazine November 2015 - Page 25

African project Vele Secondary School What are your thoughts on having a purely digital format of entry? It worked well. One particular advantage is that the submissions are immediately accessible for all to see. The Vele Secondary School project is inspirational and a perfect model of the type of school desperately needed in SA. What has it been like working on this project? We were fortunate that our inspiration came from the amazing social, cultural and physical geography of this small rural community. It is important to note that this school was built with the same construction budget as a standard government school of equivalent size. The major difference was that the design team were not constrained by any requirement to use standard departmental designs or documentation. Through our partnership with a progressive NGO (the Creating Schools Trust) we were paid full fees and given freedom to run an extensive community engagement programme and to explore design solutions appropriate to site and cultural context. What is next for the Vele Secondary School? The school recently experienced a leadership vacuum with the retirement of the previous principal. However, a dynamic, experienced new principal has just been appointed and she has a strong vision for the establishment of the school as a state-of-the-art educational facility with a strong emphasis on the sustainability features. AD Read more on the project’s Social Gain Awards win 25