University of Mpumalanga, Mbombela, SA

Staff and Student Administration Building - 2018

This project is situated on the south side of the Lower Campus of the new University of Mpumalanga, Mbombela. The building parcel is divided into two separate buildings creating a public tree-lined square between them. The square terminates the south end of an axis which leads up the hill to a multi purpose teaching building and serves as a possible pedestrian access to the rest of the university.

The buildings consist of a series of 'strips' which are positioned in a perpendicular relationship to the axis. The strips protrude and recede into the main square and create passage and courtyard spaces between them. The accommodation in these buildings includes a Student reception centre, Dean of students, Registrar, Marketing and Communication offices and associated seminar and meeting rooms.

The strips and courtyards ensure maximum north/south orientation and natural cross ventilation. Each strip has solid brick on its east and west ends to exclude unwanted harsh sunlight. The courtyard of the west building is on the second floor while the east building courtyard is at ground level.

Both Buildings are concrete framed buildings with an efficient structural grid of 4.5 x 4.5 meters. The external skin is made of face brick. The brick has been laid to form a subtle pattern created through a projecting grid (horizontal and vertical elements) with textured brick panels. The brickwork peels away on the south elevation to open up to the views over Mbombela.