Flying the flag

James
Friday 04 Mar 2011

Activate Architecture completes flagship school in their native South Africa

Lebone II is the flag ship school (primary and secondary) of the Bafokeng community, located in the North West Province of South Africa. Through generations of wise leadership the Bafokeng have secured ownership of their land, even through apartheid, and royalties from platinum mining on the land. The current leadership is focused on empower the community, many of whom lead humble lives, through education.

The school is a high performance learning environment; the configuration of the classrooms and communal spaces between buildings creates an open and engaging place for learners and teachers to confidently engage in the interactive process of learning. The main teaching space of the classrooms is square with a courtyard in one quadrant, providing ample natural light and ventilation. Learning and teaching opportunities are enhanced in this open flexible space that provides space for participation by all involved in the learning process.

Wrapped on two sides of the class room are ablutions, locker niches and teacher's office. This integration of the support spaces into each class room gives the teachers and learners ownership of these spaces making them more personal and less institutional, which intern creates an engaging learning environment. The clusters of class rooms are arranged in 'villages' consisting of a gradation of spaces from small locker niches shared by four learners to the amphitheater for gatherings of the whole school. This richness of communal space fosters a school community where every one belongs, promoting participation in learning.

The environmental impact of the facility is minimised by passive design that maximises, natural day light, glare controls, natural ventilation. All water used on site is fully recycled. Buildings and sports field where placed on previously damaged portions of the site and arranged so as to save significant existing trees.

Key Facts:

Education
Architecture
South Africa

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