New Open Source Campus


A progressive approach to the integration & revitalisation of a vibrant university campus into the existing urban fabric of Kimberley’s urban centre which generates a sense of civic belonging and generates an environment in which a sustainable and symbiotic relationship between the city and the university can be fostered. The intention is the creation a dynamic place of higher learning identified by powerful shared connections.


Department Of High Education And Training


Kimberley, Northern Cape



The concept stems from the philosophy of Open Source learning which is reflective of how information is communicated and how knowledge is shared in current times.

Open source as a philosophy promotes universal access to resources; to both freely utilise and improve resources, encouraging all people, especially those previously marginalised from registered university learning, to gain access and ownership to the culture of higher learning. The process of translating the concept of open-source learning onto the existing urban fabric reveals a methodology and approach to the architecture; a democratic, self-improving, human-centred and malleable approach to architecture which is inspired by context, content, contact, and collaboration.

The proposal chooses to highlight Kimberley as one of the foundations from which higher education stemmed in South Africa. In 1896 the first school of mines was opened in Kimberley and relocated to the Gauteng province and formed the core of what are today, two of South Africa’s foremost institutions of higher learning, the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Pretoria. The proposal intends to celebrate and embrace this monument and landmark in education by redefining the institution of education in a new and current way.

The Knowledge Resource Centre relates spatially to both axes, the nucleus and is the funnel for the Knowledge Common. This serves as a plug-n-play platform from which teaching and learning can adapt to the current self-empowering trends in education and skills training, and tie into the disciplines of information technology and computer sciences being offered at the university. The forum-like, learning- community spirit of this multi-planed space combats the potential disadvantageous trends on internet/cyberlearning by providing a democratic space for the face-to-face sharing of ideas, collaboration, or even the social-intellectual propinquity needed by young professionals or sabbatical lecturers.

The Student Villages are placed next to the existing residential areas to bring the institutional scale down to relate to context however in close proximity to the Activation Hub and Knowledge Common to encourage safe 24/7 interaction and connection to the university.

The Library sits within the more historically prestigious and civic character of the North Campus. Due to its proximity to the existing public library and the greater city the public can take ownership of the university library as an academic extension to the existing library. The new NIHE relate to each other as a processional link from the Central to the North Campus.

The Activation Hub is a regional competitive sports complex and cultural centre which , located strategically at the Nucleus encourages the sharing of resources with the surrounding schools as well as the greater Kimberley as a generator for a collective sporting and cultural excellence in a safe 24/7 dynamic space.