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Streetlight Schools, Jeppestown
South Africa
Drawings, plans, elevations
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Streetlight Schools is based in Jeppestown, Johannesburg. The school provide world-class education to the inner-city's children at a fraction of the cost of government schools. The energy and passion the school demonstrates for education was channelled into the various design components, including the physical layout of the school as well as the school's corporate identity and branding. The design team developed an over-arching master plan for the school based on Streetlight School's progressive educational model, and has maintained a close relationship with the school, as the design team were also responsible for physically implementing earlier phases of the school and designing and developing the graphic design language and signage strategies for the school. Being involved from an early stage was key to creating a space radical enough to host a learning model as progressive as this one; and it enabled the design team to deliver a product that was both cost effective and architecturally interesting. One of the design philosophies is 'low material- high technology- solutions', which focus on dispensing time to find innovative ways of using readily available, environmentally friendly or recycled materials in a way that minimises wastage. This coincides with the necessity for physical structure to be more than just a utility, but for a cohesive learning environment to be inspirational. The strategy aspires to create a scaleable architectural model that will help to alleviate the pressures currently experienced by schools within our country whilst creating a higher standard for educational spaces. The spatial implementation of the facility is aimed at creating an adaptive low cost built form, merged with the requirements of a high technology learning model. This takes the form of a multi-functional learning centre for stimulating the developing youth. The project had little to no material wastage as a result of innovative design and the use of standard material sizes. Energy reductions have been achieved by using low energy use fittings and Energy Star equipment, together with the metering of all major energy sources; and water reduction has been realised with low flow fittings and the metering of all major water fittings. Nature forms a holistic part of the everyday life at the school. As well as indoor planting and a courtyard with recycled palette planters, the school has started growing vegetables to supplement the children’s lunches. “Innovative and daring approaches needs to be explored in order to achieve a sustainable way forward for education in our country, and at Fieldworks we have made it our personal mission to help realize this dream.” -Fieldworks Design Group
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