home green Design & Build Craftmanship articles Teaching & Research Contact

Project Name:

Parkview Senior School Multipurpose Hall


Parkview Senior School


Parkview, Johannesburg, South Africa



Parkview Senior School is a well-established Government school in existence since the 1920’s. The original buildings were well made in facebrick with decorative gable facades. When the Governing Body required a new multi-purpose hall, we decided to use this opportunity to turn the least attractive part of the school; the outbuildings containing the swimming pool pump house and store rooms into a building that adds additional amenity and value for the school, while making it suit the character of the old school and camouflaging the old outbuildings.


The new building straddles the old outbuildings, remaining structurally independent, while making them disappear under a whole new aesthetic. The decorative gables of the original buildings were copied to extend the scope of the original architecture. The new hall overlooks the playing field and now provides an elevated viewing deck and functions facility for sports days as well as the classroom activities.


The only design twist that we used was a play with the structural columns that support the new structure; these were twisted at 45o and allow for a nice knuckle to be created where the steel beams meet the concrete column caps. The balcony that is supported by this detail allows the hall to open up onto the playing field and increases the possible uses for the hall and therefore its amenity value to the school.


The hall has exposed trusses and sloping ceilings, creating a voluminous space. The floors are suspended timber over, but not touching, the original concrete roof of the outbuildings. These features allow the hall to be used for a wide variety of activities from classes to dancing, gymnastics, functions etc.