Inspirational learning centre constructed.

Inspirational learning centre constructed.

The entrance to Thengwe Secondary School’s 1 200 m2 maths centre in Mutale, Limpopo, which was funded by Anglo American Chairman’s Fund.

Corobrik’s face brick range was selected for the construction of the Thengwe Secondary School maths centre in Mutale, Limpopo – a creative structure designed to inspire the youth.

The construction of the centre was prompted by the constantly improving maths results at Thengwe Secondary. Funded by the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, the 1 200m2 centre has been built using Corobrik’s Wolkberg Honey Satin face bricks, chosen to match the existing school infrastructure. The project was contracted to Bedrock Construction and Consulting, and was completed in March.

The secondary school is in demand because of its dedication to the pupils, which has resulted in a matric pass rate of more than 85% since 1987. And, despite a capacity for only 1 200 pupils, the school has more than 2 000 enrolled, because of the area’s dire need for such quality education. To meet this need, construction of the maths’ centre –  a new building adjacent to the existing school – began in 2014.

Musa Shangase, Corobrik’s commercial director, says that face brick is often the first choice for school projects.

He says that with such large classroom numbers, it was essential that the product reduced unnecessary noise – a sound insulation feature that makes up the clay brick – ensuring that the pupils could get the most out of a school day in a peaceful work environment.

Craig Hohls of East Coast Architects, says: “We opted to incorporate this face brick, to refer to existing buildings, and to integrate the new structure in terms of materiality.

“In a school environment, there is a need for robust, low maintenance materials to handle the traffic of pupils and the school equipment. The existing school has proven the resilience and reliability of face brick in this context. Face brick also looks good for a long period of time and has colour, texture and variation creating a visual interest.”

Hohls says a variety of passive design features were used in the construction of the centre, including solar shading, natural light and ventilation as well as thermal mass and insulation. To reduce costs and boost the local economy, local labour and materials were used. For environmental sustainability, rainwater harvesting was incorporated into the design along with green roofs and intelligent lighting.

“Corobrik’s Tuscan Blend paver was used as nosing for stairs and pathways,” says Hohls. “When it comes to protecting the edge of a stair or surface bed, bullnose pavers are one of the most effective means as they are able to take constant high traffic better than other finishes.”

According to Shangase, clay face brick and pavers, overall, respond well to harsh conditions, both climatically and occupationally, which often makes them the preferred choice for projects such as these.