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  • KLG ARCHITECTS

!KHWA TTU San Heritage Centre

Project Name: !KHWA TTU San Heritage Centre

Architecture Firm: KLG ARCHITECTS

Website: www.klg.co.za

Contact e-mail: sarah@klg.co.za

Firm Location: 1 HANS RAS ROAD, Rondebosch, Cape Town , South Africa

Completion Year: 2019

Gross Built Area: 265m2

Project location:!KHWA TTU precinct. – Grootwater Farm – off the R27 West Coast Road

Lead Architects: Geoff George , Henri Smit

Lead Architects e-mail: henri@klg.co.za


Project Description

The Museum is the last phase of the rural !Khwa ttu precinct dedicated to the San culture and heritage. It displays the San ‘way of life’, not like a traditional Museum, but with the building conceived as an organic landscape with an emphasis on sustainable and ethical design. The undulating structure is embedded within the landscape along a granite ridge overlooking vistas towards the Atlantic Ocean, close to Yzerfontein on the West Coast.

An indigenous planted concrete roof sinuously integrates the building into the setting. Internally, the exposed granite rocks become an integral part of an exhibition wall.

Concrete as material was chosen for its versatility, structural plasticity austere aesthetic qualities. These qualities are displayed in the undulations and curves of the roof, which required a very specific consistency and firmness of material. The roof parapets are carefully moulded to specific curvatures which support the growing medium on top of multi-layered drainage insulation boards.

Concrete spans between steel beams, but also works in composite action with the steel, allowing considerable savings in cost and material. On the floor a special concrete mix was used to emulate the colours of the Kalahari San environment. The uniquely cast floor is shaped around the natural site features and celebrates rocky outcrops within the floor. This method of building displays a sensitivity and respect towards the context.

Provision is made for a hydronic underfloor heating system on top of a rigid insulation layer which forms part of an ‘active’ thermal mass design strategy for heat radiation during cooler winter months. The Media Centre is shaped as a non-symmetrical eclipse and has a rock store built within the tapering mass of its walls. Air is funnelled through the walls to cool it down and then discharged into the space at roof level. These sustainable approaches allow for a climatically stabilised internal environment while also reducing the need for conventional heating and cooling services

The structure consciously demonstrates a balance between context, material and design methodology through a combination of environmental strategies with contemporary technologies.


Media Provider

Photo credits: Adam Letch

Photographer’s website: http://adamletch.com/

Photographer’s e-mail: adam@adamletch.com


Additional Credits

Design Team: KLG Architects

Geoff George, Henri Smit

Clients: Meerkat Community Development

Engineering: Henry Fagan and partners

Landscape: Vula Environmental Services