A collaborative effort between SANRAL, the University of Pretoria and CSIR was initiated to establish an Integrated Education, National Certification, National Reference and Research Laboratories Facility. Education and training is supported by open architecture by means of glass sections displaying reinforcing to concrete structures, plumbing and the like.
The creativity of the design lies in its functionality. The design solution departs radically from the typical civil engineering laboratory with limited light and views. Intrinsic to the design are shaded glass façades, providing views and interaction with the natural forest surroundings. This aspect conscribes to the principles of biophilia which enhances the wellness of the users.
All external concrete walls are of tilt-up design that involve the casting of wall elements in stacks and lifting them into position on pad foundations. This approach made sense due to the weak soil conditions and extensive foundations that would have been required if normal brick-type walls were used.
The facility makes a significant impact as it provides for a reference testing laboratory of all national roads in South Africa and the certification of technicians responsible for laboratory data for most roads in Southern Africa.
Architect : arc Pretoria
Location : University of Pretoria