Menlyn Learning Hub.

Pearson Institute of Higher Education
Pretoria, South Africa
Feenstra Group
Completed 2016

Director: Francois Bredenkamp
Team: Jayesh Bhoola; Joop Loeve; Karl-Robert Gloeck; Lourette Durand; Werner Kunneke; Elene Olwagen

MLH makes use of the disused sports fields adjacent to the school, formerly an illegal dumping ground, and is intended to restore some of the natural qualities associated with the site. These topographical features – the gentle contours and a southern bounding creek – aid in developing a campus typology for the project and are used in formulating a building composition.

The resulting campus grounds are composed of a series of terraced landscapes, each defining the level of public activity and interaction as one proceeds from the northern entrance, through the campus courtyard, to the contemplative walkways along the southern river bank below. An agora type staircase divides the classroom wings, acting as portal between social and study spaces.

The generous overhangs and strategically placed thermal mass upstands act as passive design elements in achieving efficient operational costs. These elements borrow formalistically from the surrounding environment and underpin the building’s relationship to the land that contains it.