An event hall For Ithuba


Project participants

Conducted by:
Ithuba Skills College, Johannesburg
S2arch, social and sostainable architecture, Wien

Ithuba Community College, Johannesburg
S2arch, social and sostainable architecture, Wien

RWTH Aachen – Faculty of Architecture
Department of Building Typologies and Design Basics:
Dipl.-Ing. Bernadette Heiermann, Dipl.-Ing. Judith Reitz
Department of Structures and Structural Design:
Dr.-Ing. Martin Trautz, Dipl.-Ing. Arne Künstler

Completion: spring 2008

More information about the Ithuba Skills College Project can be found on the homepage of the project.


The College

European architecture students build schools and kindergardens in South Africa together with local pupils, artisans and volunteers, as part of their studies. According to this guiding principle, many student projects have emerged in the south of Johannesburg in the recent years. Students of the Architecture Faculty of RWTH Aachen have already realized a Kindergarden in Montic, south of Johannesburg, in the spring of 2006.

The Ithuba Skills College is a newly established school in Montic, about 40 kilometers south of Johannesburg, which in a five-year training from the 8th grade, teaches both "traditional“ subjects such as English, Mathematics and Sciences and in addition also "skills", practical skills such as brick laying, carpentry, and electrical installations on a "basic level". Because of this, there will be workshops and some things - from the required furniture to school uniforms - should be produced there by the students. Some of these products could also be sold to Europe.


The Youtube-Video of the Project.


In addition, small, cheap "Minishacks“ are planned to provide European teachers and students with budget accommodation. When not needed, these will also be rented as small "training B&Bs“ (bed and breakfast), to show the local youth a road to independence and to entrepreneurial activities.


The new event hall

The new event hall is both community meeting point, and classroom extension for music and dance lessons. The hall is a column-free room of about 120 square meters. Sunscreens protect against direct radiation, however, the heat energy of the sun is used throughout the year.


There is a small kitchen area with counter, a storage and a sanitary area. The space in front of the hall can be used as an event room, the hall is then the stage platform on the new campus.


Construction process

In the summer of 2008, we - staff and students of RWTH Aachen University - have started the construction of the event hall. In addition to the classic subjects, dance and theater are an essential part of the curriculum. The new hall provides space for rehearsals, performances and gatherings.
Together with the students, their families and everyone who helped, we celebrated the topping-out ceremony on October 4th. The first dance and theater premiere was successfully held right in the shell of the building.

In the spring of 2009, students went back to Montic to finish the building. The fundamental experience gained by all participants through the joint production of this building, are truly unique. The identification with one's own work has lead to a new quality of appreciation of self-responsible activities equally for local students, volunteers and European students.