The CPUT Electrical Engineering Faculty required its activities across various campuses to be condensed into a single, dedicated building on its Bellville campus. The architectural concept proposes a contemporary interpretation of the campus’ signature facebrick- classical architecture, the continuation of the ground floor colonnade and direct spatial relationships between the building, the existing pedestrian mall and the broader context.
This was achieved by creating a free standing massive facebrick façade, similar in form, proportion and material to the surrounding context. The façade creates a colonnade, serves a screen to shade the glass behind and provides opportunities for balconies facing the pedestrian mall. The pedestrian mall is echoed internally in the form of a circulation spine which has several spaces leading off it. One such space is a triple volume social space which is visually accessible from the exterior pedestrian mall.
This space houses student services, a café, seating areas and informal study and group-working areas, with staff offices and bridges “floating” in the volume above. This dynamic, cross programmed space contributes to the making of a “networked environment” conducive to learning and representative of the progressive nature of the faculty.