Mangosuthu University of Technology

Resource Centre

2005

Umlazi

Durban

 

* as SVA(Durban)


The existing resource centre building required a weather-protected environment adjacent to the main library entrance. This area provides a gathering place for students outside of the confines of the secure main library entrance with provision for secure bag storage.

The existing inclined floor plane is a circular paved roof area over a lower level teaching facility, which was in effect a low level structural “drum” of face brick on to which the light weight enclosing structure is mounted. The area is linked to the lower area by a periphery ramp around the edge of the drum. Due to structural requirements, the upper level supporting roof structure needs to be column free within the building envelope. Four external columns together with two bow shaped trusses above roof level provides the main spine structure. Off these external trusses, the roof purlins are under slung, with externally mounted steel posts, supporting a perimeter beam, which picks up the ends of the purlins. The purlins cantilever beyond the perimeter wall, providing shading and weather protection to the external ramp.

The perimeter enclosure of glass panels is mounted on the external face of the steel posts, with provision for permanent ventilation openings at ceiling and cill level. The enclosed circular structure links to the existing building via a glazed bridge link. This “umbrella” structure provides a defined space, allowing it to float above the existing brick structure.