Temporary Container Gatehouse

Location: Mpumalanga, South Africa
Client: University of Mpumalanga
Start Date: September 2021
Completion Date: December 2021
Size: 62m2
Project Team: Ludwig Hansen, Jessica Thomson

Temporary Gatehouse

The objective of the project was to design a temporary security access gatehouse for the University of Mpumalanga for the period that the new main entrance is being constructed. A big challenge from the onset of the project was the extremely limited timeframe to implement the gatehouse paired with its temporary nature.

A combined consciousness of time and temporality informed the design approach and explored the conversion of two 6m containers into a gatehouse facility that contains security offices, ablutions, pedestrian, and vehicular access control to the university campus.

Beyond the time advantage of a container conversion, this construction method would give a physically lighter footprint onsite which is advantageous given its temporary nature. When the building has served its purpose, the structures can be relocated to a new site as identified by the client, with only the concrete support stilts that would have to be removed.

An access gatehouse is the vehicular foyer to a university campus and therefor is impressionable to students, academics, visitors, and passers-by. This temporary gatehouse would have to uphold the same spatial values as it would be the first contact point to the University Campus for the next 18 months. The building design is expressed as a series of fiber-cement clad structures with panoramic glazed openings, brought together under a simple sheet metal roof. The second roof over provides a shaded covered outdoor area and reduces the direct sun load on the structure below, a welcome design gesture in the hot, humid Mpumalanga region.