Mangosuthu Technikon

511 Mangosuthu Highway, Umlazi, Hallen, Theron & Partners With Julian Elliott, 1982-83.

Located on a hilltop, this quadrangular building commands its setting and enjoys distant views of the coast. As in many of Hallen’s buildings, the entrance here is on the diagonal, but in this case it is left open, allowing the sunny benefits of north orientation to penetrate the quadrangle. 

The various levels and spaces are skilfully adjusted to exploit the site’s topography (a penchant of Hallen’s), with teaching spaces on the ground floor off an ambulatory, offices above, and the larger facilities such as laboratories, lecture theatre and hall located on the lower ground floor, opening to the landscape.  

The building’s concrete frame is painted and makes use of terra cotta products and unusually creative detailing. The associated student residences demonstrate the use of face-bricks, chamfered and corbelled, or acting as perforated screens.