Local Architecture: Botha’s Halte Primary School

The library with its “tree of life" columns.

WORDS Diane de Beer IMAGES Adam Letch

This public building shows the ability of architect Tiaan Meyer of Meyer & Associates to meet a brief for a specialised environment.

The school entrance and its unique roofscape.

THE BRIEF: The outdated, dilapidated building of Botha’s Halte Primary School between Worcester and Ceres had to be transformed into a state-of-the-art, technologically advanced school. The intention was to show how contemporary, sustainable architectural design – together with new educational technologies – could help bring world-class education to a rural community.

The computer room – the school also functions as an e-learning hub to which other schools in the vicinity can connect.

THE RESULT: Established at the turn of the previous century by local farmers, the school serves an agricultural worker community – so it makes sense that the original buildings were incorporated into the new complex as a tangible link with its heritage. The contemporary building is sensitively designed within the landscape, using green technologies throughout.

Interior spaces are light, bright and happy, challenging spatial and design norms of educational buildings. The building’s form and curved roofscape are unique, and a Discovery Centre – an audiovisual and digital multimedia learning space – forms the central teaching hub.

An exploratory play area for younger learners.

For more information, visit meyerandassociates.co.za.