Curro Durbanville High School breaks ground on contemporary new campus

Curro Durbanville, a school managed by JSE-listed independent education provider, Curro Holdings, has announced that it will be expanding, resulting in a brand new, contemporary campus for the high school. The new campus will showcase the very latest in education space design, which has been crafted with a learner-centric approach.

The new campus will be situated in Groot Phesantekraal, about 5km from the current campus, and will open in January 2022 with the capacity to house 1 000 learners in Phase 1, and 1 250 in total, when the project is complete.

“After 23 years, Curro has grown to become a mature and established brand, yet our approach to education constantly evolves, keeping us at the fore of educational developments,” says Riaan Stroebel, Head of High School at Curro Durbanville.

“In an effort to keep Curro Durbanville at the forefront of educational developments, we asked learners and teachers what their vision of an ideal school was before approaching the architects, and then shared that feedback with the architect team. This approach ensured that learners are truly at the centre of the new campus design.”

“Through the mediums of drawing, building, and creating, learners presented various proposals and initiatives that they would like to claim as their school. This approach presented our team with a preview into a unique client brief,” says the project’s lead architect, Landseer Collen of BPAS Architects.

He explains that the project questions the conventional arrangement of space within a school where usually, the classroom is private, the hall and passages semi-private, and the playground is the school’s public space.

For example, an art classroom opens into an atrium that can be turned into a gallery or exhibitions area, which also shares space with a cafeteria.

The cafeteria’s practical and workable kitchen will be used by the hospitality learners, who will be taught in the consumer studies classroom (which also links to the cafeteria).

This kind of spatial design provides flexibility and hybrid use, essential for a school that needs to adapt to future needs.” This philosophy became one of the most challenging aspects throughout the design development of the school,” Collen adds, “as one tends to fall back to the conventional design approach.”

The team gathered inspiration from the best schools in Europe, Brazil and India, and further took key indicators from our Southern African continent. The high school will include features that reduce the school’s energy footprint, such as a rainwater harvesting system.

It will also have a state-of-the-art 300-seater dedicated auditorium designed to facilitate the performing arts. Adjoining it will be two dance studios and four music rooms with inter-movable doors to ensure the space is as flexible as possible.

Sports facilities will include a 400m dedicated athletics field, six hard tennis courts, four netball courts, an AstroTurf hockey field, cricket oval with nets and a rugby field.

“We are immensely excited about the construction of the new campus,” says Stroebel. “After a challenging 2020, this is certainly something to celebrate! Curro Durbanville has grown from humble beginnings to become a solid education foundation for the Durbanville community and surrounds, and we are looking forward to what we feel is a trailblazing next step in South African education.”

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