In 2017 we were appointed by St Henry’s Marist College in Durban to undertake a masterplanning process for this combined, co-ed private school.
Although we are experts in this field, we refer to the knowledge, experience and ideas of the whole school community – leaders, administrators, learners, parents and educators – in the process of defining the ‘brief’ for the project and setting the priorities. This was done through an online survey platform and the results were very interesting !
The task of solving the challenges outlined in the brief and identified in our process and of presenting a holistic vision and future-proofed, multi-phased masterplan for a campus with over 100 years of ad hoc development was ours and was without a doubt the most intense so far. The team worked tirelessly to draw every aspect of the campus on CAD, some areas in 3D and we worked closely with the school management team to refine our first drafts. The final masterplan was presented in February 2018 and the school community are extremely happy and proud of it – http://www.sthenrys.co.za/our-plans/
There are some fairly radical concepts that will bring about a massive change in the spatial quality and environment of the school – mainly to rid the heart of the school – the central piazza and adjacent areas – of cars. Replacing parking zones with gardens and courtyards that are conducive to relaxation, outdoor learning, play and social interaction. Parking is provided on the periphery with accessibility and security addressed. Future potential development sites are identified and serve to enforce but will also benefit from the courtyard spaces created. Important school functions such as the Chapel are moved to more special spaces that suit the nature of these functions. The ancillary school sites are reworked as aftercare and specialist zones, and the lower tier of the school will become a future astro-turf field, and large multi-purpose hall with parking included on a lower level.
We are very excited that the school are embarking on the first phase of implementation – chapel, drama room and covered amphitheatre space and we have been appointed as the Architects. Work is about to commence – watch this space !