Harare Library – Khayelitsha

Harare Library – Khayelitsha

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Harare Library – Khayelitsha

2009-2011

 

Project Team:

Client:                                       City of Cape Town/VPUU

Contractor:                              Stefanutti Stocks

QS:                                            DVCape Consulting

Landscape Architect:             TKLA

Structural Engineer:               Naylor Naylor Van Schalk Wyk

Electrical Engineer:                 B2A Consulting Engineers

 

Context and Brief:

The House of Learning forms part of a broader intervention under the ‘Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading Programme’ (VPUU) in Khayelitsha. The vision of the programme is to build safe, integrated communities in low-income neighbourhoods to overcome economic, cultural, social, and institutional exclusion. The community dialogue extended the brief from a community library into a House of Learning incorporating elements of learning in various stages of a person’s life – library, offices, community hall, flats and Early Childhood Development Centre form the core program.

A particular need that became apparent in discussions with the community was the lack of study space for high School learners in their homes. Through developing a relationship with the place and community, it was clear that this building needed to become a collective living room, for chilling, talking around the computer about possible jobs, and doing homework with friends. Care was given to creating an acoustically complex place where all of this could occur.

 

Intention:

The building is the landmark civic building on the Harare Square and plays an essential role in the activation of the newly formed surrounding streets. The multifunctional use encourages long operating hours and supports surveillance of the entire precinct. The diverse nature of the brief allowed for the generation of a multiplicity of scales and volumes –introducing a sense of topography into an otherwise fairly flat terrain.