Having been built in 1974, a decision was taken to upgrade the University of Pretoria’s Mining Industry Study Centre by purposefully designing it to provide a place for engineering students to work afterhours and to work on group projects.
The centre was developed by the university and designed by ARC Architects Pretoria. Aurecon provided civil, structural and wet services engineering for the project.
The new structure was planned and designed to utilise a previously unexploited space of the existing Engineering 1 Building’s street level. Adding an additional 3 000 m2 to the existing Engineering 1 Building, it consists mainly of an arched roof and mezzanine floor, and is able to accommodate approximately 800 students.
The centre is an excellent example of the ability of skilful engineering to provide durable, aesthetically pleasing structural solutions that maximise the use of available space. The practical, innovative and highly successful use of a suspended ceiling enabled the challenging time and budget requirements to be achieved.
In 2014, the project won “Overall best innovation merit – best refurbishment” at the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) International Property Convention & Exhibition awards.