2009 – 2010

ITHUBA primary school masterplan
Primary school as a village
South Africa

Designed, Masterplan

Photo: Corinna König

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). Over the following years, international architecture schools designed and built further buildings based on the ITHUBA Primary School master plan. The school grounds are home to a colourful collection of different types of architecture.

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