Art Project – Springfield Convent School

Springfield Art Project

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Art Project – Springfield Convent School

2011-2013

Awards:

  • CIfA (Cape Institute for Architecture) – Award for Architecture 2013
  • Western Cape Government Cultural Award for Built Environment and Cultural Landscape Project of the Year 2014
  • SAIA (South African Institute for Architecture) – Award of Merit and Award of Excellence 2014

 

Project Team:    

Client:                                        Springfield Convent School

Contractor:                               Habitat Decorators

QS:                                             Simpson Heath Quantity Surveyors

Landscape Architect:              TKLA

Structural Engineer:                Meny-Gibbert and Associates

Electrical Engineer:                 B2A Consulting Engineers

 

Context and Brief:                                                                                                                                                                                

The School required an entirely new Art Department, due to their present temporary facility becoming no longer available. A lesson learnt from using the temporary facility was the richness of the Senior and junior art departments sharing the same spaces. Pottery as a subject had also become an established condition.

 

Intention:

The initial conceptual thinking was firmly embedded in the framework thinking and, as with most of our projects, it was essential to work closely from the beginning with Tarna Klitzner from TKLA, as the building and landscaping are integral to each other.

Due to the preciousness of the existing open spaces, in the form of historical gardens to the North and sports fields to the South, it was necessary to build within the existing built fabric.

The site identified is surrounded by the Old Laundry building (built in 1883) to the South, the Sisters’ cemetery to the East, and the historic gardens to the North. These became the primary informants of the new buildings. The sloping nature of the site and opportunities of connecting back to the rest of the school further determined the placement and character of both the landscaping and building.

The new buildings, together with the Old Laundry act as an embrace to the cemetery, with its stepped wall patterning pulling through to the new courtyard and internal exhibition space, and the new buildings stepping down and wrapping around it.