Lapalala Wilderness School

The Lapalala Wilderness School provided an opportunity to showcase a years-long effort by Local Studio to develop new forms of public space in rural communities in South Africa. The brief called for new infrastructure for an established wilderness education program which was moved from a site within the Lapalala Wilderness reserve to new neighbouring property.  The building program includes new teaching and administration buildings, short-term residential accommodation for students and long-term residential accommodation for teachers and staff. The project is noteworthy for its context-driven materiality, using rammed earth, rock and hardwood in combination with concrete and masonry base structures. The project is net-zero rated, and is powered entirely by a new solar farm, and includes a grey and black water recycling plant.  

Client: Mapula Trust

Photography: Sean Gibson and Dirk Jacobs