The new, supremely unique lecture theatre at the University of Cape Town

by Zuerita
The new, supremely unique lecture theatre at the University of Cape Town

The new lecture theatre at the University of Cape Town (UCT), designed by GAPP Architects, is showing off an innovative new design that is catching the attention of architects around the country. The lecture theatre’s auditorium is located at the university’s Upper Campus and can seat up to 400 people. It has also been designed for natural voice acoustics and boasts high-tech multimedia audio-visual equipment, but it is the building’s beautiful curved aesthetic that really has the experts talking!

The facade

The facade has been made out of Rheinzink, which is essentially a long-lasting zinc-based material. Rheinzink is durable, sustainable and maintenance-free. After much consideration by the designers of the building, it was decided that Rheinzink was the only material that could be utilised in order to effectively craft the rounded building shape.

As a result of its malleable structure, the material was able to bend to fit the shape and also emphasise the already impressive diagonal roof structure, ultimately granting the building its unique aesthetic.

The interesting curved structure of UCT’s lecture theatre is an awe-inspiring demonstration of the versatility of what skilled craftsman can create when using Rheinzink material.

Inspired by heritage principles

The innovative design is inspired by heritage principles relating to the evolution of the historic University Avenue, which has constantly been transforming along with the times. Thanks to Rheinzink’s natural weathering and patina, it was the perfect material to reflect the heritage of the campus and add something new and special to the university’s offering.

Upholding sustainability

Along with taking on the challenge of crafting a new-age design for the building, ensuring maximum sustainability was also a priority for everyone who was involved in the project. This was another reason why Rheinzink was the obvious choice for the façade. As mentioned, Rheinzink is a zinc-based material, making it a natural element. Zinc is, in fact, one of the top ten elements in the earth’s crust.

Furthermore, the material aids in reducing the need for additional resources because it is maintenance-free and promises a prolonged service life. Furthermore, it ensures a low primary energy source (low melting temperature of approximately 520°C during production) and is 100% recyclable.


Satisfying today’s demands on architecture, energy concepts and economic efficiency when it comes to the construction of buildings, is extremely complex. The number of trades and products involved here, and an understanding of their properties and the best way of using them, represents a real challenge to designers, architects and construction workers alike. This is why expert support is very important.

In an effort to complement the national availability of the Rheinzink roofing, facade cladding and water drainage systems, the company’s South African office offers a comprehensive support service. This support service includes technical assistance on application technique, as well as detailed specifications for planners and installers. After all, the Rheinzink motto is “You have the ideas, we have the solution!”.

Tel: (021) 671 2600
Website: www.rheinzink.co.za


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