Building features


The HPI d-school building at the University of Cape Town is the ideal embodiment of Design Thinking

As a physical home for individuals and communities to gather and learn about Design Thinking – it was critical that the design process was collaborative and inclusive. The co-creation process allowed the Architects (KMH Architects), students and faculty members to be a part of the brief guiding the design approach.

The team rose to the challenge of the site’s unique proportions: A limited, triangular space with an 8.5-meter cross fall between its highest and lowest points. The solution was found in the creation of a 4-storey structure, which allows for ample parking beneath ground, and teaching, administrative and collaborative spaces in the upper levels. The buildings aesthetics were partly derived by abstracting the site’s geometry – with the concrete framed structure being covered by a large-span steel lattice shell and glass roof, making it at once striking and harmonious against the surrounding landscape.

In all possible aspects, the building is sustainable, and engineered for maximum comfort and functionality with minimal reliance upon the grid. Through the myriad of sustainable measures implemented within the design, the HPI d-school building is aiming to achieve a six star Green Star rating with the Green Building Council of South Africa. Solar panels, low-energy light fittings, Thermo-Active Building Systems (TABS), rainwater harvesting and water-saving fittings across facilities ensure that the building is optimally.

External Landscaping
Green Wall
Atrium Fritted Glass
Atrium Roof Structure
Energy Metering
Water Metering
Efficient HVAC System
Air-Cooled System
Openable Windows
Internal Lighting
Blinds & Glare Protection
External Lighting
Rainwater Storage
Low Flow Plumbing Fittings
Waste & Recycling
Recycling Bins
Indoor Air Quality
Actuated Windows
Acoustic Comfort
Roof Insulation
Solar PV
Low VOC Interior Finishes
Low Formaldehyde Wood Products
Cyclist Facilities
Electric Vehicles
External Shading
Generator Emissions
Domestic Hot Water
Zero ODP Refrigerants & Insulation
Concrete During Construction
Steel During Construction

Embedded in every Afrikan home language is the use of the letter ‘k’ in the name Afrika.
We choose to recognise our continent with its original spelling, allowing it to remain true to its identity, history, and people.

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