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Delft Daycare Centres
Delft South, Cape Town, Western Cape




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33°59'16.28" S 18°38'35.71" E

Award Citation

The architects have developed a flexible prototype for the development of daycare centres that they have applied to two sites in Delft South. Through extraordinarily modest means a rich layering of space, and a complex hierarchy of both interior and outdoor spaces is achieved.

From afar, tall brick pylons directing pedestrians to the building offer visual relief in the relentlessly flat landscape. Moving closer, the pylons fold horizontally to become walls, seats, ramps, stairs. These elements provide parents with a waiting space outside the school, while creating a subtle private-public threshold between the walled interior of the schoolyard and the public life of the street.

This ability to manipulate architectural scale is echoed inside each classroom which has a generous central space, a more intimate verandah space, and child-size storage areas and play spaces. The classroom building has the added flexibility of two moveable walls, affording teachers the opportunity of sub-dividing the room into a number of different spaces.

The architects have and have made a valuable contribution to the public realm in the most bleak and deprived environment.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Low, Iain, Cooke, Julian and Joubert, 'Ora Ekasi Medley: in Joubert, 'Ora (Ed). 2009. 10 years + 100 buildings: pp 268