New Public Building

  • New library for Kareedouw that caters for library and public facilities.

  • Client: Dept of Roads and Public Works
    Architects: The Workplace Architects
    Location of Project: Kareedouw, Eastern Cape
    Date of Completion: Current

Kareedouw Library


The Kareedouw Public Library is a proposed new public building in Kareedouw, that is seen to form part of the municipal precinct of buildings situated along Keet Street on a slightly elevated part of the town looking northwards over the town and with views of the mountains of the Langkloof. The building consists of a new public library component of approximately 650m² with accompanied administrative and service areas. The building further consists of a public conference component with public ablutions. 

The building is positioned to form a public courtyard area between the existing municipal buildings and the new proposed library underneath existing tree canopies. This courtyard is defined by a loose arrangement of existing municipal buildings, a gravel road, a grove of existing trees and a small children’s play area. The proposed new facility reinforces this by formalising the approach road, defining the north and east side to the treed area and providing a small parking area to the east for the complex.

The treed public space, the east west orientation of the building and south entrance to the new library are a direct and appropriate response to the weather conditions (hot summer and mild winter), a response to prevailing winds and an intention to create a shaded entrance area.
The proposed structure of the building is expressed as a steel structure with brick infill work. The building orientates itself east west and is formed by a large single roof. The roof of the building is manipulated to form high volumes over the main library area, volume over the entrance and lower volumes over more service related functions like offices and public toilets. The main library is highlighted as the primary space, with south facing clear storey windows that will contribute to use of controlled natural light within the library. 

The interior is scaled from the high clearstory south windows to low and intimate spaces for study at a north facing window or the children’s section. Surfaces are simply finished in a way appropriate to the public nature of the building and in a way that does not detract from the primary spatial experience of the large interior volume.

It is anticipated that this building will be completed by the end of 2013.