Faculty of Economics, Kwaluseni, (Competition Entry)

Faculty of Economics, Kwaluseni, (Competition Entry)





Description: In 2017 APS were invited by well known Swazi Architectural Firm Architects International to contribute to, and collaborate on a design competition for a new Faculty of Economics, on the Kwaluseni Campus, University of Swaziland.

Challenge: In addition to the usual requirements like lecture rooms, ablutions, staff offices and administration facilities, we immediately identified a key absence within the University of a communal and public eating and gathering space - Despite the mature infrastructure of the campus, there was no Students Union facility catering to the social and dietary needs of the campus students and staff. Located in Kwaluseni, in the Swazi-highlands, we also had to consider the strong prevailing winds and high levels of rain that the region was renowned for.

Solution: APS took the lead design role for this competition, and came up with a facility that could be phased over time and constructed as and when budget allowed. The four storey facility was mirrored, and centred around a internalised pedestrian plaza and atrium, which was to provide shelter from inclement weather, as well as access to all areas of the building. The ground floor plane rises up on either end of the long plaza to form a terraced gathering area above, and formal lecture theatres below. Each level of the building accommodates different faculty functions, depending on the intended publicness or privateness of the activity. The double sided cafe, restaurant is certainly the prevailing amenity on the ground floor and caters to faculty and beyond. The central atrium links the masonry elements together, and provides the heart and lungs to the building providing natural light and ventilation to all zones, in line with the entries intensive sustainability strategy.


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