Western Cape school rebuilt with clay brick

by Tania Wannenburg
Western cape school

Completely renovated, the Heideveld Primary School now welcomes its pupils with the warm, earthy tones of Corobrik’s face bricks punctuated by vibrant blocks of colour.


A temporary school built about 40 years ago, Heideveld Primary School on the Cape Flats, has had more than a superficial facelift – an entire new school was built.
The complete renovation has taken about two years from when the project design started in July 2012. Meyer & Associates Architects were briefed to design a new school as part of the Department of Basic Education’s Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI) Programme to replace the existing dilapidated school buildings. Construction commenced in March 2013 with Phase One being completed in August 2014 and Phase Two in November 2014.

Meyer & Associates director, Tiaan Meyer, explains that the old structures had to be demolished in order to prepare the site for the new school buildings. However, the teaching couldn’t stop, so pupils and teachers first had to be accommodated in temporary buildings.

“Only then could the contractor, Basil Read, move onto the site to start the new building operations,” he says. “After construction, the pupils moved into their new school buildings and the demolition of the last half of the old buildings to make way for a new sports field went ahead.”

The new school includes 23 new classrooms, four Grade R classrooms, four specialist classrooms, a computer lab, a media centre, as well as an art and music room. The new hall accommodates a feeding kitchen and is lined by the administration building with staff rooms and offices.

Christie van Niekerk, Corobrik manager for the Western Cape, says: “Corobrik Bergendal Satin Light face brick is ideally suited to the modern, uncluttered design of Heideveld Primary School. Its attractive warm colour, low maintenance and durability will ensure that the school will remain an exciting place of learning for generations of students in the years to come.”

In total, Corobrik supplied 438 000 ROKlite plaster bricks, 208 000 Bergendal Satin Light FBS face bricks, 16 500 73mm Wheatstone Pavers PB and and 26 000 50mm Wheatstone Dark Pavers PB.

Simplicity was key to the design and minimalist perimeter blocks are contrasted by creative elements with specific significance, including a timber entrance canopy and screen walls with circular opening detail all coded in bright colours which confront the rigidity of the classroom blocks.

The buildings are arranged around quads or covered courtyards that are animated with brightly coloured staircases, circular benches and striking signage. Corobrik’s 73mm Wheatstone Pavers and 50mm Wheatstone Dark Pavers compliment the Bergendal Satin Light face brick finish of the buildings and were used in all internal courtyards and external paved areas.

Passive climate control and sustainable principles also played a large part in the design of the facility with the largest portions of the classrooms enjoying north/south orientations.

The upper floors of the classroom blocks provide overhangs over the north facing windows of the lower floor to cut out direct sunlight, while the eastern and western facades are articulated with perforated vertical sunscreens in bright colours and deep recesses. The thermal mass of the clay brick walls provides the walls with the necessary thermal capacity, the key thermal property for optimising thermal comfort conditions in passive solar designed buildings. Water towers feed the school toilets from boreholes on the property and the material pallet of face brick and off-shutter concrete responds to the need for a high-quality, low-maintenance sustainable facility.

Van Niekerk confirms that the use of Corobrik face and clay brick products was aesthetic-, environment- and budget-driven. “The durability, resistance to fire and natural sound proofing qualities as well as the earthy palette and textures of clay face brick walls significantly reduce high maintenance costs associated with alternate lightweight innovative building technologies,” he adds.

Tel: 031 560 3111
Website: www.corobrik.com

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