Plenty of Space for Art and Children

A spectacular architectural project is being built in Cape Town with 360 square meters of highly-transparent PVC panels from RENOLIT: The Guga Children’s Theater. The extension to the Guga S’Thebe cultural center should benefit, above all, children and young people. The PVC panels of Type RENOLIT ONDEX HR will be directly attached to the façade and thus create a generous feeling of space within the building.

“Co-operations with architectural colleges have a certain tradition at RENOLIT and we have already gathered positive experiences. The theatre building project provided an excellent opportunity for students to gather personal experience and to discover and utilize the broad potential of our products in architecture” says Monika Fecht, Head of Corporate Design Management at RENOLIT. “The Guga Children’s Theater presented a number of challenges for the trainee architects: To design a functional building with very low material and construction costs and to realize the building project at first hand. The implementation was a success and we are glad that we were able to help”.

The spectacular design with red containers originated for architecture students from the RWTH University in Aachen/Germany and the PBSA in Düsseldorf. They were involved in the planning and construction along with students from Georgia Tech Atlanta/USA and the UCT Cape Town, the AIT-ArchitekturSalon and the later users. At a workshop with the South African star architect Carin Smuts in March 2013, the students discovered what life was like in a township and what a cultural center should achieve. Together, they drew-up an initial urban planning concept. In July 2013, a group of students then visited Cape Town to begin the realization with material and personnel support from the town’s Department for Arts and Culture. 

The Guga S’Thebe cultural center is the heart of the Langa township as it offers the local community a unique opportunity of experiencing its art and culture in an international dialogue. The extension and Children’s Theatre should promote, above all, work with children and young people. A combination of smaller rooms for learning in small groups through to a large multifunctional room for dance, music, rehearsals and performances should facilitate what can be offered in Langa.

The multifunctional theatre forms the architectural focus of the Guga Childrens’ Theater. The new building is on the south side of the cultural center. It consists of a square structure which creates an enclosed space through its rotation to the existing Amphitheatre which both serves as forecourt to the new theatre and auditorium for the outside stage. The staggered stacking of high-cube containers on the ground floor and standard containers on the upper floor creates a  casual enclosed space with a height of about five and half meters. This ring of containers house the back-stage, the kitchen, the stage direction, audience balcony and sound studio.

The RENOLIT ONDEX HR material used in this project is manufactured with a unique and patented process in which the panels are stretched in both planes. This creates a woven-like network in the molecular structure which gives the panels extraordinary tensile strength and durability. Further advantages of the RENOLIT ONDEX HR panels are, for example, outstanding weathering resistance, the high fire-resistance category B1 and the full recyclability of the material.

The Company

The RENOLIT Group is an international leader in the manufacture of high-quality plastic films and related products for technical applications. This independent family-owned business, which has been setting benchmarks for quality and innovation for over 65 years, now employs a workforce of approximately 4,500 employees at more than 30 production sites and sales entities.

Image titles

1. Architecture students from the RWTH University in Aachen/Germany and the PBSA in Düsseldorf were involved in the realization along with students from Georgia Tech Atlanta/USA and the UCT Cape Town. (Photo: RWTH Aachen).

2. Also the later users of the Guga Children’s Theater were involved in the construction of the building (Photo: RWTH Aachen).

3. By the staggered stacking of high-cube containers on the ground floor and standard containers on the upper floor creates a  casual enclosed space with a height of about five and half meters. (Photo: RWTH Aachen).

4. The Guga S’Thebe cultural center is the heart of the Langa township and allows the local community a unique opportunity of experiencing its art and culture in an international dialogue. The extension and Children’s Theatre should promote, above all, work with children and young people. (Photo: RWTH Aachen).

For editorial questions, please contact:

Monika Fecht
RENOLIT SE
Head of Corporate Design Management
Tel.: + 49 6241.303.377
Fax: + 49 6241.303.18.377
monika.fecht@remove-this.renolit.com

Steffen Spendel
RENOLIT SE
Corporate Communications
Tel.: + 49 6241.303.1175
Fax: + 49 6241.303.18.1175
steffen.spendel@remove-this.renolit.com