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Harry Gwala Senior Secondary School

Khayelitsha Cape Town, 2003-2006

A high school designed in the sprawling area of Cape Town known as Khayeltisha. The surrounding area was filled with built formal housing as well as informal shacks. 
The design of the school was centered on the idea that schools need to perform a multitude of functions, and should provide civic and community venues as well as educational facilities. 
The Hall, Library, some learning spaces and the administration section of the building are thus designed as a separate section which can be cordoned off and used over weekends. This central multi-functional core is flanked on either side by the junior and sentior classrooms. 
Another strong concept was to invert the typical township school plan which is prominent in the Cape Flats, where a series of classrooms are reached by an open external walkway. Here circulation is internalised with an "internal street", punctuated with pause spaces that relate to entrance points into the central court, and staircases that link the upper and lower level. 
All photographs taken by Ronnie Levitan.
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