Snugly fit into the existing Faculty of Engineering Building, lies the new Engineering Technology Building which developed from the need for additional facilities at the Faculty of Engineering, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein Campus. The new 4-storey building, with a coverage of 3850m², needed to be in close proximity to the existing facilities for practical reasons.

The building was orientated on a east-west axis in order to retain the northern aspect of the existing building and additional parking needs of the university. The new building, simultaneously acts as a gateway to the ZR Mahabane Building (Administration Building), connecting the administration to the rest of campus.

In response to the east-west orientation, openings on the west façade were reduced to a minimum. This also assists to reduce traffic noise from the busy President Brand Street adjacent. The east façade is more transparent. It creates a sense of orientation within the building and provides light into the circulation areas that contrast with the enclosed laboratories and lecture halls.

The eastern elevation opens up into the campus with its 3-storey glass curtain walls. All the classrooms & laboratories pour out into the 3-storey entrance atrium, which centralizes all activity and acts as a breathing space for the building. The external spaces are defined further by smaller projecting concrete canopies which reduce the building to human scale.

The choice of materials, namely concrete, steel, aluminium, brick and glass and the rectilinear design, signals the new building’s kinship to the original structure and also celebrates the scope of the engineering curriculum presented here.

The building investigates how infill architecture can re-inanimate campus space; i.e. the spaces between buildings, and in a physical sense, reflects the transformation of the institution into a centre of excellence.



* In joint venture with: Tomane Moteane Architects