The King Edward VII Mathematics Centre is located at King Edward VII School in Johannesburg. The project is a classroom facility with a hockey pavilion comprising both an upper viewing deck with kitchenette  facility and lower area of team ablution/change facilities, as well as a larger ablution facility for scholar use.

The brief to the architect was to propose a scheme as a fund raising platform from Old Boy donors. Two donors, Victor Daitz Trust and Edgar Droste Trust (both deceased Old Boys) stepped up to assist.

The project was to comprise initially 4 x mathematics classrooms and ablution facilities. This later expanded to incorporate a hockey pavilion and ablution facilities. The idea was to maximise the  small  space adjacent other classroom wings and minimise the number of peripatetic teachers.

From the outset, the project was envisaged as a combination of steel, concrete, brick and aluminium. The sunscreen roof was envisaged as a steel filigree screen with cutout patterns and as one of two elements which could give the project life, the aluminium balustrade being the other. The elements of geometry and mathematics are used here as an inspiration for the creation of their forms.

The steel elements of the project vary from Universal Columns to square hollow sections which are used as a giant order to the upper canopy roof to maximize the verticality as an offset to the flat canopy. The rafter and rear screen elements are IPE members and C-channels. The steel sheet canopy is suspended.

From an engineering perspective the challenges to the canopy roof were in the methodology in which the sheeting is suspended from its structure, as an inverted solution. The sheeting is read as a hovering plane that floats above the parapet walling at the building edge. The large over-sailing cantilever sheet at its point hangs off an extended beam and the framed system of beams and rafters. The cantilever similarly covers the passage way, whilst the hockey pavilion sheeting extends the roofline to match. The screen is grounded on double length columns which bypass the building and soar vertically straight to the canopy.

The challenges of fabrication were in the amount of steel sheet that was to be removed in the patterning. Too much cut out created a bend in the sheet, and as such the pattern had to be manually adjusted in order that it read as random, natural and poetic. Most of the panels therefore had individual patterning and as such this required close monitoring on the cutting and installation process.

The resulting aesthetic is a sensitive approach to mathematics and geometry which creates patterns in light and shade which varies constantly throughout the day and night. A visual delight juxtaposed to previous hard insensitive buildings.

The project team worked tightly together from project concept to project fruition. Both the  main  contractor and steel sub-contractor took the project on board as it was felt that it would be a challenge and something out of the ordinary for them to realize. The project team rose to the challenge and the process was fun.

We would like to think the results speak for themselves.

Tons of structural steel used 46t
Structural profiles used IPS, Universal Column and Universal Beam, Channels
Tons of LSF used 7t – Steel Framework, 2t (rafters)
Span of trusses and Kg/m2 (if applicable) Rafter spans – cumulatively 132m
Profiles used IPE Rafters, C-Channels
Cladding profile/ type used 2mm Stainless Steel sheet – Grade 409.
Cladding area/ coverage and tonnage 280m2 – 11.6t

Project Team

Project Team Role Company
Nominator StudioJoy+ Architects
Client/ Developer Business Manager – King

Edward VII School

Architect StudioJoy+Architects
Structural Engineer eStruct Consulting
Engineer eStruct Consulting
Quantity Surveyor Stuart Ray Skead Associates
Project Manager Not provided by nominator
Main Contractor Akhane Construction (Pty) Ltd
Steelwork Contractor Hybrid Africa
Steel Erector Hybrid Africa


Metal Graphics
Cladding Supplier STALCOR
Cladding Contractor Hybrid Africa
Corrosion Protection


Hybrid Africa
Corrosion Protection

Paintwork Contractor

Hybrid Africa
Photographer, Photo




Photographer, Other

submitted images


If you were a part of this project, and your company details are incorrect or missing – please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.