The Matrix Urban Designers and Architects
Back to Portfolio

Lingcom Primary School

Located in the township, Kroonvale, the steeply sloping site of the existing school (consisting of dilapidated prefabricated buildings) sits at the foot of two koppies, dotted with sparse vegetation. The elevation of the site offers views over the community that the schools serve and the picturesque Karoo landscape beyond.

From the main approach to the site, one encounters a “grand stair and ramp” that emerges into a large terraced assembly courtyard flanked by communal functions: administration, dining (and kitchen), library and assembly hall (future). Beyond this, the classroom program is split into two functional groups (for Grades1 – 3 and 4 – 6) that are separated by the library building (that also contains vocational workshop spaces, shared by all grades).

In response, the hot summers, each group of classrooms is arranged around sheltered (partly by trees and partly by pergola structures) playful courtyards containing hard and soft surfaces and playful elements. In order to minimize the visual impact of the school against its natural setting, the program (especially the largest component – classrooms) is fragmented into a number of interlinked buildings, sitting at different levels (and hence different roof lines) in response to the natural slope. The choice of materials and colours are also muted (with only subtle hints of bright colour) so as to limit contrast.

Project Facts

Value:R65 million
Client:Department of Roads and Public Works (Eastern Cape)
Date of Project:August 2015 - present
Design Team:Albrecht Herholdt, Miles Hollins, Jaco Potgieter