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University of Mpumalanga-Mbombela campus student residence

Project Details

  • City: Mbombela, South Africa
  • Year: 2017
  • Client: University of Mpumalanga
  • Value: R130 million
  • Discipline: Architecture
  • Sector: Education

GAPP created an integrated mixed-use precinct woven into the existing building fabric of the site, tied together by a public promenade that connects the campus residences and recreational facilities to the new library and administration building.

This presented an opportunity for the student residences, common rooms and student union facilities to activate the edge of the promenade. As part of the promenade route, the design includes a timber deck that winds its way through the trees.

Within the residences, student accommodation is grouped into a series of apartments of eight bedrooms with a shared central living space, arranged around a semi-private landscaped courtyard. More public facilities such as the games rooms, lecture facilities, and retail areas are placed along and open up to the promenade, activating the walkway.

The Wellness Centre and SRC facilities are arranged to form an enclosed area around the swimming pool and recreational area. The multipurpose hall is both functional and ceremonial, accommodating a variety of uses including sporting events, examinations and graduation ceremonies.

The material palette reflects the natural colours and textures of the Mpumalanga landscape. The building has a sense of growing out of the landscape with the core material being a local clay face brick. Punctured brickwork screens shield the facade against direct sunlight, allowing for cross ventilation while maintaining privacy and security.