Science Research Facilities

Location: Mpumalanga, South Africa
Client:  University of Mpumalanga
Start Date: :2017
Completion Date: 2020
Size: ±7500m2
Project Team: Ludwig Hansen, Günther Wagner, Lionel Vincer, Benjamin Baggott, Gary van Lieshout, Jacob Kritzinger, Candice Janse Van Rensburg Nave, Michael Watson

University of Mpumalanga Science Research Facilities. The project  brief consists of the following: Undergraduate laboratories and ancillary spaces, including life sciences, natural sciences, and physical geography together with postgraduate labs and office admin spaces.

Our intent is to create a building that challenges the conventional learning practice of science within academic institutions. By dispersing the building programme across the site, new intermediate zones are created through courtyards, lingering thresholds and exposed service rooms.

Spaced over separated buildings ranging in height be- tween two and three stories. The footprint of the building sits at around 3500m2 including courtyards between each of the buildings that ensure a breathable, light building that takes advantage of the climate and natural landscape of the Mpumalanga region. Each block of the building will contain the 1st year laboratory on ground floor and with the 2nd and 3rd year labs on top.

The programmatic arrangement of this building along the circulation spine exposes the entire procedure of the working nature within a laboratory which in turn visually opens up the scientific discourse to the public realm.

The ground floor programme takes advantage of the visual connections of the laboratories by providing generous walkways and defined courtyard spaces to encourage people to linger and potentially learn through visual engagement.
The envelope lends itself to the transparency of programme whilst sensitively responding to the climatic requirements of an effective laboratory workspace.