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Austrian students design an early learning centre for a local South African community

34 students from Innsbruck University built this state-owned preschool building in 2006 with the help of local workers. The complex consists of two classrooms, kitchen, sanitary installation and an outdoor playground.

Embedded in a colourful landscape, adventure and curiosity are encouraged in an experimental space comprising of a number of different and undetermined zones.

A simple steel frame and wrinkly-tin sheet sits over the buildings, unifying the different buildings, and providing a sheltered are for learning and play. Running down to the ground, it allows for coloured blocks to be inserted through the skin of the structure, for children to climb. The  metal is also reminiscent of the type of materials used in the township and ad hoc housing, making the children feel at home.

A path meanders across the site via shady spaces, dwelling places and patches of vegetation towards the building in the centre and continues through it to the woodland beyond.

Inside, the wall design allows niches, retreats and elevated landings for the children to interact with.

Varying atmospheres and moods are created by well directed lighting through regular openings.


Layers of structure


Via Imagine School Design.


  1. Hello,

    what is the projects name and full name of architect?

    thank you

    1. Olifantsvlei Preschool, Innsbruck University, Studio 3, South Africa, 2006.

  2. Hello,

    i would just like to know the name of this finished project, the specific place in south africa it is, and the full name of the architect that designed it.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Nicholas, yes sorry i should have this infor here;
      Olifantsvlei Preschool, Innsbruck University, Studio 3, South Africa, 2006.



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