review: schap! projects

Ithuba represent initiative for building and developing two school complexes for children and young people from townships in South Africa, founded 2008 by Christoph Chorherr through his non-profit organization s2arch-social and sustainable architecture. The main idea of the organization “s2arch” is to give a place where poor children from rural areas can receive a school education. “schap!Mzamba” is instance of that initiative, to make a good education possible for people, especially children, in poorly developed regions. Poor economic situation is reflecting on education system also, having up to 80 students in a class are not unusual.


Since 2010, when construction site was open, until today five objects were built by different European faculties of architecture. After schap!2009 and schap!2011 in the south of Johannesburg and schap!2014 in Mzamba, in winter semester 2016/2017 architecture students started with the planning phase, of two new classrooms for the Ithuba Community College at the Wild Coast. After the finding of ideas, the planning and execution phase as well as after the parallel phase of searching for sponsors, the shap!MZAMBA 2016 team of the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences, master degree program Architecture, set off to South Africa at the End of January 2017.

Construction phase during school operation
Within seven weeks, two new classrooms for grade 5 and grade 6, as well as the foundations for the classroom of grade 7 and for the teacher’s room at the Ithuba Community College were completed. The special thing about the project was, that the classrooms, which are integrated in the school complex as individual buildings, were built during school operation. The pupils, some of whom took a long march across the Mzamba river to reach the school, followed the construction process with curiosity and joy. It was a great enrichment for the students of the schap! Mzamba 16 Team to work with the local workers. Their method of mixing mortar or plastering with local materials not only encouraged mutual interaction among them on the construction site, furthermore their life-affirming attitude motivated them during the whole construction process.

In spring 2018, the third semester of the master degree program Architecture together with students in Civil Engineering and a local construction and project management team around Elias Rubin is going to complete the masterplan of the Ithuba Community College in Mzamba with the “hall”. The „hall“ will be used by the students and teachers as a meetingroom as well as for singing and dancing. At the same time, the „hall“ will be an important part as place of communication, interaction and celebrations for the surrounding villages.



Header-Foto: Christian Brandstätter