Calling Academy School

  • area / size 8,181 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • SALT Architects completed a space with an industrial and functional feel at the Calling Academy School in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

    Calling Education is an NPO that was established out of identifying the need for affordable top-quality education as an imperative to South Africa’s restoration. Their first campus, rolling out their unique funding model, is Calling Academy Stellenbosch, which is located on a bucolic plot bordering the Polkadraai Road between Stellenbosch and Kuilsriver. The site was identified and set aside by the previous generation of surrounding landowners to serve the local farming community and consisted originally of six existing classrooms, a reception, and a sports field.

    As the institution grew each year with the intake of another grade, their accommodation requirements expanded yearly. With severe financial and development right constraints, the campus is getting shaped by fluidly adapting to the external factors that are at play whenever it’s intersecting the given moment of accommodation demand. Designing this campus is therefore an ongoing organic process aimed at maximizing the quality of the learning environment, connected to the natural beauty of the site, at the lowest possible cost, resonating with their priority of quality education over cost of facilities.

    The project is an addition of a new section to the original farm school and consist of many flexible functions unified under a continuous tiled roof and applied to create a renewed image for the place without making any changes to the original school. The functions are a laboratory, staff room, staff offices and amenities, an additional classroom, and a counseling room. Extended roof overhangs and the use of concrete-block screen walls allows internal spaces to overflow, and creates a variety of thresholds between interior and exterior, the users and nature. The floors step down with the natural slope of the terrain, creating the required variation in volumes while the roofs remain on the same level.

    Design: SALT Architects
    Contractor: Steenser Construction
    Photography: Nudge Studio