Usasazo Secondary School
The project is distinguished from surrounding schools through a well-considered response to the brief and appropriate responses to the severe contextual constraints of the area. They depart from the notion that schools are buildings as objects, and instead impart a strong identity at the street edge. At the street façade the scene is set for a vibrancy where entrepreneurial teaching can develop into active trading.
On site building components are informally positioned to form a series of treed and sport courts where students are sheltered from prevailing winds. Generous walkway canopies introduce a more humane scale to the entrance court, which continues in various forms linking the different building components.
The introduction of natural light into most of the classrooms, hall and library is innovatively designed and positioned with dramatic effect. The robust detailing and well considered use of materials acknowledges the strain and limited maintenance capacity of public buildings in this area. The school is a commendable example of an appropriately contextualised building which can accommodate a variety of needs beyond its brief, relevant to its surrounding community.
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.
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