SA Preschool made entirely of recycled materials gets an architectural award


Silindokuhle Preschool is made up of recycled materials, built by the community and has now been awarded a building innovation award.


Since 2014, Collectif Saga has been involved in a community project with residents of the Joe Slovo West informal settlement in the suburbs of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The team has been working on the implementation of various facilities within the area. In 2015, they completed the community hall and started plans for the local preschool.

Silindokuhle Preschool was designed to provide the children of the community with a better and safer learning environment while showing the great potential of using recycled and reclaimed materials in construction.

They used mostly recycled and refurbished items to build a centre focused on childhood development. The building has an incredible beauty about it and while it may stand out amongst the surrounding buildings, its uniqueness draws people in. It was built near a new section of RDP houses.

Patricia Piyani, founder of the preschool and soup kitchen, has been taking care of the children in her community for the last ten years. She did’t have the opportunity to go to school when she was younger. The lack of education inspired her to create an opportunity for proper education to the children of her area.

The architects designed a building that would be engaging and experimental.

“The preschool is a shelter for new experiences for the children, offering large views toward the surroundings, playing with shadows and light, showing the reality of its construction. Raw materials are assembled to form a warm learning environment, offering three large classrooms naturally ventilated, and widely open towards the broader landscape.”

“The canteen space, enclosing the outside playground, offers to the children and community members a shared space, a canvas for new tales, games and other events. Sanitation is provided, using mainly rainwater, and a large office was built for Patricia and the four teachers. The building reflects the story of the preschool, it is singular in its dimensions and aspect, it is man-made; its construction contains a multitude of collective stories, so many beginnings for new opportunities.”

Collectif Saga was awarded at the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation for their involvement in Category D, known for its Sustainable Social Programmes.

The awarded projects and programmes make a positive contribution to communities and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as the reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation and the use of sustainable or renewable construction materials.

You can see the video of the preschool below.

Sources: Collectif Saga / archdaily / Sustainable Designs
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens.
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast, with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:

Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll hopefully leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

sixteen + 4 =