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University of Johannesburg Lecture Hub
South Africa
DESIGN HYPOTHESIS The University of Johannesburg strives to ‘inspire its community to transform and serve humanity through innovation and the collaborative pursuit of knowledge’. This vision has embodied the University’s philosophy since its foundation as an amalgamation of tertiary educational institutions in 2005 and its progress is evidenced through a steady increase in student intake over the past 5 years. Ivemvane is the personification of these principles in built form. Two auditoria flank a main courtyard and lock into the final piece of the 1960’s campus master plan, providing seating for 1500. Ivemvane (isiZulu) refers to the plan and three-dimensional realisation of the building; an elegant yet strong sculptural form, delicately poised in its surroundings. The name also connects to the gathering of knowledge, the process of intellectual growth and emergence of new ideas. Ivemvane bursts energetically from its context, intrinsically connected to its past with a new vision reflected in difference. The existing brutalist monolithic structures refer to previous institutions, the new building an expression of dynamic transformation and progress. BUILDING TECTONICS The wing forms of Ivemvane are a direct response to the functional requirements of the auditorium plan and internal acoustic design. Seating is designed in a broad fan shape in order to bring students as close to the lecturer as possible and the sectional ramps and steps are generated through an analysis of optimal viewer ergonomics for image projection. The upward movement towards the rear of the auditorium is further used to create covered wi-fi study space externally. Rheinzink is the main external cladding component for Ivemvane, selected to adapt to and enhance the strong, refined, contemporary expression of the building, while providing an exceptionally durable barrier to the elements. By contrast, the loose arrangement of locally sourced Saligna planks as a ceiling cladding assist acoustic absorption in the courtyard and provide a more tactile contextual counterpoint to the machined skin.
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