THE MATHEMATICS CENRE - CONCEPT
The King Edward VII School Mathematics Centre is located at King Edward VII School in Upper Houghton, Johannesburg. The project is a classroom facility together with a hockey pavilion overlooking the AstroTurf.The pavilion comprises of both an upper viewing deck with a kitchenette facility and a lower area that serves as team locker room facilities, as well as a larger ablution facility for scholar use.
The brief to studioJoy+Architects was to propose a scheme that resolved the issue of lack of facilities for the mathematics department as well as for the hockey players. Thanks to the generosity of two philanthropic donors, Victor Daitz Trust and Edgar Droste Trust (both deceased Old Boys), King Edwards now boasts a modern annex that is sensitive to the surrounding school buildings.
The project was to initially comprise of 4 x mathematics classrooms and ablution facilities. This later expanded to incorporate a hockey pavilion and ablution facilities. The rational was to maximise the small space adjacent to the other classroom wings and minimise the number of peripatetic teachers.
From the outset, the project was envisaged as a combination of steel, concrete, brick and aluminium. The sunscreen roof was envisaged as a steel filigree screen with cutout geometric patterns and was one of two elements which could give the project life - the aluminium balustrade being the other. The elements of geometry and mathematics are used here as an inspiration for the creation of their forms.
The resulting aesthetic is a sensitive approach to mathematics and geometry which creates patterns in light and shade which varies constantly throughout the day and night. A visual delight juxtaposed to previous hard insensitive buildings.