BPAS Architects - Curro Durbanville Highschool, where spatial qualities and finishes create a positive, stimulating educational environment
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Curro Durbanville Highschool, where spatial qualities and finishes create a positive, stimulating educational environment

BPAS Architects

Education  /  Completed
BPAS Architects

It was important that the design process was not isolated to a single author, the scheme came together through collaborative engagement with learners, teachers, and other consultants. Learning achieved through interactions is the basis of how a child develops. This was the essence of The Third Teacher. Its principles can be summarized as follows: Firstly, interactions with the adults in their lives (parents and teachers), secondly with peers, and thirdly through interaction with their surrounding environment – the physical space in which learners mature becomes The Third Teacher. The design aims to capture and promote the value of The Third Teacher in its layout, spatial qualities and finishes to create a positive, stimulating educational environment.

Located to the north-east of durbanville, the site forms part of the larger urban plan for the Phesantekraal area. The site is accessed on the west side from two turning circles which have predetermined positions, providing the campus with main and secondary access points, whilst bordering busy Okavango Road on the east side. Inspiration was drawn from the surrounding landscape and the mountains in the distance, the colour of the canola fields and the materiality of existing structures located on and around the site. The design emits an exciting take on form, texture, and scale.

Curro Durbanville prioritizes sustainability and eco-compatibility through its building orientation, passive design strategies, screening devices, material choices, and verandas. By strategically positioning the buildings, the campus maximizes natural lighting and ventilation while minimizing energy consumption. Passive design strategies, such as insulation and shading, enhance thermal comfort without relying heavily on artificial lighting and cooling. Thoughtfully chosen materials with low embodied energy and high durability further reduce environmental impact. Verandas provide shaded spaces for outdoor activities, connecting students with nature. These integrated elements demonstrate Curro Durbanville's commitment to creating an environmentally conscious learning environment.

The U-shaped building footprint frames the corner of the site, which formulates a forecourt defined by the auditorium and hall on either side. It ‘embraces’ the learners and visitors as they enter, while also acting as a protective buffer from the elements. Direct visual connection to the main entrance makes wayfinding easier for users. The conventional ‘school typology’ consisting of classrooms framed by four walls was challenged with the concept of constant interaction between spaces. The classes become permeable and adaptive with furniture, such as combinable tables, designed specifically for hybrid and flexible use of each space. Diversity is emphasised through juxtaposed slanted columns and colours in this dynamic atrium learning space, embracing difference and uniqueness in a collective and safe environment. Furthermore, an art classroom opens into an atrium that can be turned into a gallery or exhibition area, also sharing space with the cafeteria. This type of design provides flexibility and hybrid use, essential for a school that will always be adapting to future needs. Patterned brick work acts as a wayfinding method at entrances while contributing to the aesthetics of the building. The auditorium is clad in sheet metal which forms a prominent node at the main entrance. Lastly, a concrete finish is pulled through to the interiors and complimented with the warmth of natural wood elements.

I am extremely impressed with the design of Curro Durbanville. The attention to detail and commitment to sustainability are truly commendable. The overall design promotes a harmonious blend of functionality and environmental consciousness. Curro Durbanville has truly set a high standard for sustainable educational institutions, and I am grateful to be a part of such an inspiring project.


 Cape Town
 Curro Holdings Pty Ltd
 Educational Building (School)
 8865 mq
 Landseer Collen, Ian Cox, Theo Gutter
 Landseer Collen, Ian Cox
 MNK Projects
 KLS consulting engineers, FMWE consulting engineers, Calcoli, Mackenzie-Hoy, PJK, B-Sense, ORC, CNDV
 Corobrik, Polyflor, Geberit, Go Green, Flowcrete, Rako, Lecico, Cobra, Catermarket, African Hardwood, Unique Kitchens, Dormakaba, Regent, Saint Gobain, OWA, C.E.L, GP Koning, Façade Projects, Turftech, Trompie Sport, Triomf Steelworks, Harris Electrical, GRIT procurement, Isoboard
 Burger Engelbrecht - 3sixty Photography


BPAS Architects is a solutions-focused, multidisciplinary architecture and interior design firm. Our goal is to turn your project from dream to design to reality. We offer wide-ranging experience and expertise, combined with adaptive thinking. Our digitalized practice implements top-tier technology at every point of our workflow. Bringing together practical skills and vision, we work to deliver the best results for every project, balancing financial, economic and sustainability factors. When you partner with BPAS you are ensured of high service delivery standards, a proven track record and access to a capable team who will work alongside you to develop the optimal design to meet your needs. Since BPAS was founded in Cape Town in 2005 we have grown our portfolio across the education, residential, healthcare and commercial sectors. We have experience across South Africa, as well as internationally, and we look forward to partnering with you to create powerful new spaces


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