Dean’s Complex and Lecture Halls
South Africa
Additional Lecture halls added as a vertical expansion to the existing Health Sciences Building at the University of Pretoria.
The project was conceived as part of the Faculty of Health Sciences aim to expand the intake of students by 400 first year applicants in 2015. The project became a reality when funding was received from the Department of Higher Education and Training. On campus, areas to develop are scarcely available. The existing Health Sciences Building was identified for possible development. The building is low in scale compared to surrounding structures and lent itself to vertical expansion. The vast open roof area was selected to accommodate two new lecture halls, university branded shops, a post graduate centre and new offices for both the Dean of Faculty and Head of Departments. The existing building acted as the prominent design genera¬tor, setting restrictions such as, size, orientation, functional areas, movement and the construction process to be followed. The existing lecture halls and campus library would stay operational during construction. When moving through the existing building it is easy to loose sense of direction. Very little communication to outside areas and internal nodes are present. The new building opens up to the external spaces and views. The new internal public volumes are flooded with light and natural ventilation to create a relationship to the outside environment. Structural constraints dictated that the new addition needed to be lightweight materials and required a structural frame between old and new to transverse the loads to the northern and southern facades. The lightweight steel frame made it possible to clear all spaces from the clutter of columns. From all external views the existing building retained its original form to express the history of the building. The new addition emphasizes the building in it surrounding through the use of contrasting lightweight materials and finishes. It relates to the structure below by keeping to a complimentary modular pattern.

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