Groenvlei High School serves several surrounding communities of varying demographics. This characteristic enables the school to serve as a potential focal point, or point of overlap, between those communities. The absence of a school hall not only compromises the school’s ability to realize this potential, but also compromises the school’s ability to stage annual productions, offer indoor sporting events, and several daily school functions.
The proposed location will be clearly visible from the adjacent Jan Smuts Drive, giving the school some presence within its context. The design solution proposes a main central space, expressed as a robust, long span structure, which admits south light through fixed polycarbonate sheets and expels hot air through roof-mounted whirly birds. This main space is held at either end by massive walls, which houses the entrance lobby in the front, and the stage and change rooms at the rear.
A facebrick plinth around the building becomes a core at its entrance which houses a tuck shop, a kitchen and bathrooms off the main lobby space. These materials are used to create seating elements and planters in the forecourt to the building, which ties building and landscape together.