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2Nd ND year Architecture 

MIP Essay            Liyaam Arieff 206153562

Mip Brief St. Michael’s 2011 

                                 Liyaam Arieff 206153562 

MIP Part 1  Academic Paper   

Ponzano Primary School  In the Veneto region of Ponzano, Italy, the Architectural practice named ‐ C+S Associati was  appointed in 2008 by Comune di Veneto , Ponzano Patrimoni e Servizi to start designing the  sustainable primary school. Construction had to commence by 2009 and the educational  hub is designed to accommodate 375 children between the ages of 6 & 10 years of age.    The building consists of the following items which make up the total floor area of 4.102 sqm  •

15 Classrooms 

A Music Classroom 

Linguistic classroom  

Computer Classroom 

Science Classroom 







The building doesn’t only provide an education function but also constitutes a new node or  meeting place for the entire community. The Gymnasium and some Classrooms are made  accessible to public after school hours. 

Throughout the design phase which commenced in 2008, C+S Associati organized a web site  to involve, inform & receive valid input from children and the community to help better the  design. This participation activity was followed up by site visits during certain phases of  construction. This participation also provides the users of building with a sense of  involvement and ownership in the project and its progress.  The educational function as well as the multi – purpose or new meeting place of the  building, along with interaction of the youth and communities input, allow the term “Social  Building” to be inherited by the primary school.  C+S Associati uses the concept of a common gathering space, where learning can be  achieved through interaction around a central gathering space.  Instinctively this concept  leads the architect to design Ponzano primary school around a courtyard space, which  becomes a focal point and core space in the buildings design. This courtyard space is  celebrated by allowing all the defining spaces such as the classroom, gymnasium &  circulation zones & canteen to face & open up into the courtyard. All the classrooms where  the children spend most of there time are orientated and wrapped along the 2 sides of the  courtyard, one along the south east end and the other along the south west end. This  orientation allows the classrooms to be exposed to improve day light exposure & natural  ventilation.   The other two defining sides of the courtyard are occupied by the canteen and  gymnasium. The gymnasium sits partially underground due to the huge volume; this also  allows for an embankment which provides light, ventilation as well as brings about the  design of the garden     Corridors are dived from the classroom by 130cm high walls of furniture. This allows for  ample natural light as well as allowing beautiful views of outside surrounding landscape into  classroom spaces.    There are 3 staircases leading to the upper floor, one which is situated at south end and one  at the north end of the building and another by the gymnasium. The upper floor consist of a  balcony which looks onto the gymnasium, ablutions, storage, computer room as well as  classroom spaces and offices that look out onto the courtyard.     Traditional brick work and concrete is used internally in the structure of the building.   However, the building space is a designed to be porous and transparent by the use of low  walls & glazing in the classrooms.  These classrooms are caddied externally by glass panels  which are in cased in a light weight timber frame and internal in a lightweight aluminium  frame.  This porosity & transparency of spaces allows the children to learn much more by  stimulating their sense of vision.  The more children observe the more they learn, develop  and stimulate the minds.  This transparency of space also allow for teacher to keep watch  over the children. 

The internal structure is encased by primary structure which is like thin red filigree. This  structure provides a covering to the building and anchors the roof plane to the ground  plane.  The red bent columns and its shadows generate play on the wood and glass façade which  adds another dimension to the aesthetic feature buildings elevation and over all design.   The building is also designed to be sustainable due green roofs well orientated building thick  insulation, floor heating, photovoltaic panels, geothermal heating  and natural ventilation  along with a BMS (Building management system) which automatically can unroll sunscreens  that is located along the glass façades .The BMS also helps facilitate the use of water and  electricity throughout  the buildings use.      This project was well designed & executed and as it’s taken into consideration:   •

The use of simple materials  

The use of transparency in the design of the building thus benefiting the children’s  learning ability. 

The use of a courtyard space to create a sense of unity among the users of the  building. 

The use of a sustainable green design.  

The most important factor alongside the green design of the building is the multi  functional purpose of the school. I feel this educational space and Community  Node/meeting space for the public adds much more substances and value to the  entire building.  

The functionality of this design should be implemented in the design of educational  institutions so as to increase utility of the resources  •    

Ponzano Primary School is an excellently designed “Social building”.  

MIP Part 2  Academic Paper   

1.Bowbridge Primary School, Newark, Nottinghamshire    Bowbridge primary School which comprises of 480 pupils is an existing school which desperately  need alterations and additions to be done to it. The newly appointed head teacher acted upon the  need for change. Through a series of consultations with Architects, staff, pupils & members of  community, a new Eco School was commissioned to be built.      The New linear building which is north facing makes use of a double storey space as opposed to a  single storey space. This helps reduce the buildings footprint and allows the children plenty of space  to play and learn in the out door environment.     The Timber frame Structure and cladded building accommodates 10 classrooms, 5 group study  rooms, a meeting room and a large Atrium that doubles as a teaching space. When entering the  school one enters into the large North facing Atrium. There are two Staircases positioned on each  end of the atrium allowing access to the upper level. Ablutions are also placed on each end near to  the classroom for easy access. There are four classrooms on ground floor which are placed along  side each other. These classrooms can be entered directly from atrium area or via the central  passage way which leads to the south end of school. The central passage way divides the two areas,  which are then divided further subdivide into 4 classrooms by the use of sliding folding doors. Study  areas and Teacher offices are located in each classroom on the south end which over looks the  playground area of the primary school.             

The primary school utilizes many ideas and methodologies in its design and construction to create a  sustainable/green building.  This allows for minimum impact on the environment while still taking  advantage of natural elements.       The design team uses the following basic but effective sustainable ideas to create an   Eco friendly building:    •

Rainwater is harvested from the roof of the new building to flush toilets and there is a read  out monitor where children can see just how much water the school has saved by this  approach.  

Ventilation of the building is by large wall grills rather than energy hungry air conditioning. 

Parts of the old school building that were dismantled were reused in the new building and  an old brick work tank became a wildlife pond. Even the new playground surface is made  from recycled car tyres and sports shoes.  

The topsoil from the site of the new build has been utilised around the school grounds. Not  having to transport this off site saved one hundred lorry journeys.  

Solar panels provide hot water and the school is involved in an innovative project to fund  photovoltaic panels to produce electricity using a community investment model..  

The school is heated by a wood pellet boiler. When the school discovered that the pellets for  this were being imported from Poland they changed the contract and started buying this  renewable fuel from a forest in Leicestershire.  

The carpets for the new accommodation come from Bradford (rather than the USA, which  was one option) and contain 60% recycled materials. Organic paint was used throughout 


At the end of the building programme the temporary site road the builders had constructed was  recycled to form the bed of the school’s new netball courts. The builders’ road itself had been  constructed from 1000 tonnes of recycled stone from a nearby road refurbishment project. This  reduced the need to take fresh stone from local quarries.       I feel these ideas & methods are appropriate for our schools design in South African, as we have the  necessary skills, labour, and materials to build such simple sustainable schools. This process of  building will also make people aware of the sustainable built environment.      

  2. Kingsmead Primary School, Northwich Cheshire    Completed in July 2004 for the Cheshire County Council, Kingmeads was the first Primary School  commission, which has since become a prototype for environmental school design in other various  parts of the United Kingdom. The brief for 150 places & seven classrooms, called for a design that  would respond to the changing needs of the community & allow the school to expand in a diverse  way. The design response, & introduced an elegant Glulam frame structure which is repeated  through‐out the footprint enabling future development to mirror the current structure & provide  additional classrooms or a Multi Purpose space in a consistent style.       The school follows a linear curved plan layout, with a central corridor running from east to west,  which also contains meeting areas. These meeting areas may be used for additional small teaching  areas. Other rooms are also accessible via the central corridor.  The building has a strong visible  timber frame structure with cladding which is held up by a colonnade. Internal spaces allow each  classroom uninterrupted views to the outdoors. Additional elements such as large clerestory  windows reach out towards the outdoors and invite natural light inside. All classrooms are north  facing, spacious & comfortable. The classrooms also include movable partitioning screens to create  two small teaching areas or one large multipurpose space. Other spaces, such as the Hall, Staffroom  & Ablutions are located on the south of the building. The landscaping is implemented, which  included a   orchard area, herb plots & vegetable garden. This allows for an improved learning area  which allows pupils & teacher to utilize the site to it maximum potential.   

Through out the project the outset of the brief requires that the project should promote and  implement sustainable development. This was achieved through various ways such as the following:     •

Rain water harvesting 

Carbon dioxide reduction  

Waste minimisation 

Corridor usage 

Flexible teaching space 

Biomass boiler & hopper 

Energy usage  

Future buildings in South Africa may include some sustainable elements from kingsmead primary.  Most of sustainable element can be implemented here in South Africa, however the need for the use  of a different materials to build, such as adobe bricks and gumpoles should be used instead of  timber.                           

3. St Lukes Primary School, Wolverhampton The Wolverhamton City Council & the Blaken Community Development worked together to  regenerate the Blaken Hall District area of Wolverhamton. The development of the St Lukes Primary  School became the centre piece of the regeneration. The new “Eco School” which is found in the  heart of Blakenhall gardens area opened in april 2009.    The School design which is dictated by its site has been part of the Landscape & incorporating an  existing community building & existing church. The 2,911 S.q.m school, takes the form of a  rectangular linear building. The classroom which makes up the building largest façade is, orientated  & exposed to face North (North – South Axis). The layout of the school is school is organised &  Grouped around two flexible shared activity hub spaces. These spaces also provide accommodation  for activities outside of school hours for the local community. Instead of corridors, the 2 hub spaces  provide direct access to classrooms. All the classrooms are paired & can later be divided by movable  partitioning. The partitioning also separate two halls which are located in the smaller wing of the  building this allows for ultimate flexibility.  

The Timber frame structure dwelling is enclosed by a large sloping roof which defines the volume of  the building. The Roof and facades of the building are all cladded in timber, in order to provide a  feeling of uniformity.  The shape of the roof allows for the addition of a mezzanine to be added later,  which would provide additional space if needed as well as connecting the ground floor to the upper  floor.    The interior space is characterised by the presence of coloured glass panels which recreates the  spatial feeling of a religious building. – Faith being an important aspect of the ethos of the school.        The school is described as sustainable / green & demonstrates an integrated approach to sustainable  development through:    •

Curriculum using the building & its sustainable credentials as resource material for lessons. 

Campus the design of the building uses sustainable materials throughout.  

The school has additional areas for community use. 

  The school aspiration was to have a modern low – energy building with cutting   edge sustainable credentials.     Sustainability was achieved in various ways, such as the following:    •

The form & section of the building reduces energy consumption by maximising natural  daylight, using a passive ventilation system. 

Large canopies running along south – facing classrooms provides additional teaching space  as well as shade covering. 


Manual low level windows and automatic clerestory windows are linked to the Building  management system. 

North facing clerestory windows introduce additional daylight without glare to classrooms  and large open space. Good day lighting minimises the need for artificial light. 

Under floor heating is powered by a biomass woodchip burning boiler. 

Simple cartoon guides are displayed in each room to explain to the users of the school, how  the building works & the best way to minimise energy & control the environment in each  room. 

Specialist software allow for minute by minute monitoring & feedback of energy & water  consumption. These results are on display & can also be accessible from all computers on  the school networks. This creates a sense of awareness. 

The building makes use of a low embodied timber construction & high levels of thermal  insulation. The timber is also used for cladding. All timber is harvesting with the locality. 


Certain design aspects of the St Lukes building & methodology can be used. The use of technology  such as cross ventilation, water harvesting , using eco friendly materials as well as monitoring of  resources  (making people aware of the environment & how to take care of it) , can be implemented  in our educational buildings in South Africa. Technology, Resources & our local available materials in  South Africa, allows us to design & build sustainable economical & environmentally friendly buildings  such as the St Lukes Primary School.     These methods should be learnt, practiced and implemented in our educational infrastructure, in  order to achieve the built environment Schools in South African need.   

MIP Part 3  Academic Paper   

1. Thembelihle crèche     The crèche at weilers farm, was designed by the institute for architectural technology at Graz University of technology in Austrai. This school utilised a linear plan layout which stretches from east to west, dividing the site into two play ground areas. The school makes uses of a central corridor space which act as the spine of the crèche. This central corridor space is defined by classrooms, a kitchen, ablutions, office and a veranda area. The schools low cost design makes use of a light weight timber frame structure. The walls are cladded & constructed using plywood, corrugated metal & polycarbonate sheeting. The buildings spaces is enclosed & crowned by using a sheet metal roof. The veranda area is covered by shade cloth which creates an additional playful outdoor learning area. The linear plan layout of the building also enables cross ventilation which creates a comfortable leaning environment, without the use of air conditioning. The design of the building contributes to the teaching methodologies by allowing for individual separate classrooms to be modified into a larger multipurpose teaching space. Classrooms space cans also extent out to the covered veranda area providing further learning space. The school is successful as it caters for the children’s needs, functions well as a learning space and provides and addition leaning spaces.

2. Montic Factory Creche.    The Montic factory crèche is situated near an existing school in the informal rural area of Johannesburg , South Africa. The Project was developed in conjunction with NGO S2Arch & various academic institutions. The project is low cost and is designed & built along with local labour by 22 architectural students from Germany which decided to build it themselves to help aid the community. The teaching methodology of the school helps the students to learn from one another by the design of a multi grade school. The classrooms can be utilised as a multi purpose space

allowing learners from different ages to interact with one another. This multi purpose space can also serve the community. The school also has a covered outdoor playground/teaching area, which acts as a transitional zone between outdoors & indoors. This covered outdoor area, adds additional learning space to the school. The space invites leaning to the outdoors adding an exciting element to teaching. The school is successful as it has a dual purpose. •

Educational / Learning Hub

Community / Social Hub

The school is low cost, has a simple design & teaches locals how to use basic materials and construction methodologies in an effective way. This learning process through design of spaces makes it a great success.


The Client ‘Dispshikha Society for Village Development’ appointed Anna Heringer & Eika Roswag as the architects to design a school for the district of Dinajpur, which is situated in Bangledesh. Due to lack of education in the village, a desperate calling for a school was needed. There was no formal brief for the project. However the Modern Education & Training Institute helped define the brief, by studying & taking into account the skills, needs, abilities and interest as well as the speed at which the students learnt.

The context of the village indicated that the local people of Dinajpur acquired a natural ability for the ability for construction with local materials. Materials were readily available, such as Earth, bamboo, timber, straw, limestone & the skills to produce adobe bricks. This led the design team to utilise local labour & host workshops to refine & teach building skills, as well as facilitate the project.

The teaching methodology uses two dimensions in the educational system, both Analytical, logical as well as creative thinking. This is achieved through the use of local labour teaching methods.

The school is successful as it teaches & promotes leadership, managerial skills, and social skills & creates a sense of responsibility among the community, as well as empowering the community.

Various alternatives are available for traditional classroom design. Classrooms should be designed & built as a dynamic space multipurpose space. This adds more value to the classroom space.

Alternatives available for classrooms: •

The utilization of classrooms as a multi purpose space.


The use of spatial design to help stimulate the learner mind Implementation of colour Implementation of shape Implementation of texture Implementation of light & shadow.

These alternatives can help educate learners & stimulate there minds while still allowing them to enjoy the enjoy the space .

MIP Part 3  Academic Paper  4. St Michael’s 2011    The Department of Architecture and the CPUT Centre for Multi grade education embarked on a project for alterations & additions to be done to the St.Michael’s schools. The school is located in a small farm town in Oude Berg, Grabouw. The project objective was to implement a Low cost intervention at the existing school. This had to be done by improving & modifying the outside playground area by Creating a Multi purpose space for the school . Parallel to improving the school, CPUT students had hands on approach in the construction of the design. This allowed us to engage in the physical aspect of learning to design & build. The project was broken up into phases, due to time & cost. The first phase of the project was to link the existing school to playground area which was located a few meters away from the classroom area. We decided to create a relationship / link between the space, by designing & building a large semi covered pergola structure. Additional element such as a wooden timber deck & stairs which extended from the classroom stoep area was added to the design. The extension of the stoep area also increased the circulation zone and created a seating area which was desperately needed. A garden area was also included, which help the learners and staff to grow there own vegetables and teach children bout gardening and planting which also adds an additional learning element to the school.

On site.    Things are well on there way. The team start by studying the plan and looking at what is going to be constructed. Peter then shows us how to setout the building using the 3-4-5 triangle method. This helps establish a datum for setting out the building. Once the datum has been established, by using a 90 degree square positioning as a point of reference we start

marking out the points where the gumpoles will be positioned. Peter stresses the setting and marking out of the positioning of the gumpoles which have to be checked and rechecked again from time to time. The setting out of building is extremely important. Once we achieved all the marking out and positioning of the gumpoles we started digging out 800 x 800 x 800 trenches. While the trenches are being built the timber meranti rafters are being prepared. The Meranti Timber rafters & other timber are being sanded down by machine and then by hand. Once the sanding is done, the timber gets painted with a environmentally friendly sealant to protect the timber from the elements. Once the trenches are dug, each gumpole is place and concrete is poured to fix it in place. Once the concrete is set and gumpoles were firm in place the team started establishing the different heights of the framework where the rafters would rest upon. While the framework is being mounted to the gumpoles other construction parts of phase 1 is taking place, such as the building of the stairs, decks and vegetable garden. Once all the frame work is completed the positioning for the connector blocks are marked out and bolted into place. The rafter is then positioned fixed into the place onto the connector blocks. Connector blocks help stabilise the doubled up rafters. The roof sheet is now ready to be fixed to the pergola to enclose part of the structure. The final touch of the project is laying out of the bark chips on the floor area as well as painting of the feature wall. All the children, staff, CPUT students lectures complete the project by adding there handprints to the feature wall. Along with a presentation the site is handed over and phase one of the work is finally completed. I feel the contribution to the St Michael’s school will have a great impact on the learning environment. it will uplift the school add a positive energy to space.

Our contribution truly sets a standard for phase 2 which will even have a greater impact on the school in the future. I am please to be part of the this great project and I have been reminded why I choose to study architecture despite it s challenges. Iam looking forward to phase 2 of the project.


Part 1 Ponzano Primary School. Achi daily 2009. http://www.archdaily .com

Part 2

Bowbridge Primary School, Newark, Nottinghamshire. Kingsmead Primary School, Northwich Cheshire St Lukes Primary School, Wolverhampton 15 OCT 2011

Part 3 Joubert, O.2009. 10 years + 11o buildings : austo – germany experimental teaching , cape town : bell Roberts Siaeh,nico.”hand made school/anna herginger & EIKE ROSWAG,04 MAR 2011. ARCHIDAINLY .ACCESS 15 OCT 2011


    Liyaam Arieff 206153562  

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