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ITHUBA primary school / Masterplan for Ithuba Skills College / 2010 / Township Magagula Heights, Johannesburg,  Republic of South Africa



Jürgen Almhofer-Amerig

Janina Biskamp

Johannes Derntl

Rafael Hintersteiner

Urs Kaps

Corinna König

Katharina Peball

Gerald Pilz

Patricia Porsch

Johannes Wolfsteiner


Design Supervision

Roland Gnaiger

Richard Steger


The township Magagula Heights lies around 30 km to the south of Johannesburg and is one of the smallest and poorest of the townships in the surroundings of the metropolis.


Somewhat outside this township the Austrian NGO SARCH built up the ITHUBA Skills College, a centre for the further education of young people designed and built by various European architecture faculties.

This educational campus is augmented by the erection of a primary school for 6 to 13-year-old children. SARCH commissioned a master plan for this school, which was created in 2010 in the framework of a semester project at the Kunstuniversität in Linz.


The aim was school buildings positioned so that it makes optimum use of solar energy, with individual building parts that generate outdoor spaces of high quality, and an organism with an urban quality. A school like a village, with a main square, side streets and paths, with public and private outdoor spaces, sunny and sheltered from the rain.

The guidelines were intended to ensure these urban qualities but also had to remain open and flexible so as to allow further developments and individual designs in the separate construction phases.


In spring and summer 2010 the authors of this master plan concluded the first two construction phases (primary school classrooms). In the next 2 to 3 years other universities will complete the comprehensive school in accordance with the planning guidelines.