KANANA (SA) in progress

Kanana Primary School, Ivory Park, Johannesburg, SA

The idea is to design and build a sustainable grade ‘R’ centre with volunteer students on the premises of the existing Kanana Primary School. Through the involvement and recommendations of our South African partners Education Africa (SEA social educational architecture program) and the Shanduka Foundation (adopt a school program) the premises of the Kanana Primary School was defined. The school is situated in the heart of an ever-growing township at the northern edge of the city of Johannesburg close to Kempton Park where some people do find work opportunities even though 50% are unemployed and 70% of the population lives under the poverty line. The School actually serves a number of 2.400 learners with 61 teachers in 43 classes. The newly implemented compulsory grade ‘R’ needs to be realized in an extra structure of 5-7 classrooms with it’s own service unit consisting of kitchen and toilet facilities serving approx. 40 children per classroom for a total of 280 learners.


The project consists of:

7 classrooms with approx. 110,0 m2/unit = 770,0 m2
1 kitchen and toilette unit, approx. 110,0 m2 = 110,0 m2
1 covered shade unit 110,0 m2 = 110,0 m2 total: 1.000,0 m2
landscaping for garden, veggies, trees = 1.000,0 m2

The plot is sloping from west to east and shows signs of water in surface and this means draining the area and preventing rainwater to reach the built up area with drainage and retaining walls. The classrooms layout is designed to enable passive heating of each building in winter as the sun can penetrate and warm the facility, and the roofs are designed to give enough covering to keep the classrooms shaded in summer and cross ventilation under the roof takes the heat away. The cantilevered roof also provides shading for the children for covered outdoor playing. Each classroom compiles to the relevant legislation and provides the necessary 1,5 m2/learner and min. 2,0 m2/learner outdoor play area of which approx 50,0 m2 are covered. The single classrooms are designed to provide space for the group tables setting in one halve and the four ‘corners’ for reading, block-play, make-believe and arts/crafts in the other halve.

The project will be designed and built by volunteer students from European (TU-Vienna, FH-Salzburg, IUAV-Venice, UNITS-Trieste and UNIFI-Florence) and South African Universities (UJ-Johannesburg) and funding for the building materials will happen through donors and sponsors. Total material costs estimated in 72.000,0 €.

The building will be realized three separate phases:

1 – foundations, between 01/2009 – 03/2009 5 EU + 10 SA students
2 – structures and classrooms 07/2009 – 09/2009 25 EU + 5 SA students
3 – finishing and landscape 10/2009 – 11/2009 5 EU + 10 SA students

Mainly students from SA and local labor funded by Shanduka will support phase 1 and 3. Phase 2 will be done mainly by students from Europe and local labor funded by Shanduka. The interaction of students from Europe and SA is a fundamental task to ensure cultural and skills exchange between each other. The sustainability issue of the project focuses on passive heating from the sun, cooling with wind and shading, alternative building materials from local sources where possible, involving local (community) labor and building skills, rain + waste water management, solar energy use for electricity and warm water production, recycling of reusable waste. . .

work in progress


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