The Trust Centre
The iKhaya Trust Centre was previously a beer hall. When a fire destroyed the building in 2002, the GSDT bought it and turned it into a community centre. It now houses VisionAfriKa primary school, AmaZink and the InZink amphitheatre.
Other partner organisations are SEED, mentoring new entrepreneurs, Sakhikamva, coordinating bursaries for learners, and Eduvate, developing 21st-century teaching approaches and skills amongst teachers and supporting coding for learners. At the onset of COVID-19, the GSDT partnered with Stellenbosch Unite (and Stellenbosch Municipality, Stellenbosch University, Visit Stellenbosch and SCAN) to provide relief to communities. It supports StelCovidActiob in setting up multipurpose stations in medically underserved areas.
The Trust Centre hosts regular community, music, theatre and poetry events.
For a renovation in 2010, architects KR2 won a prestigious merit award from the South African Institute of Architects.
The panel of assessors for this reward wrote:
“The iKhaya Trust Centre demonstrates how much an architect can transform the daily experience and social development of many people through one well designed building.
The loose-fit geometries employed by Kr2 Architects achieve a range of internal and external spaces, each with a strong identity. This identity is achieved through built form rather than colour coding or naming, making it easy for both children and adults to fin their way around the set of spaces. The centre, formally a beer hall, has been transformed into a hub of education which allows for transfer of knowledge between all age groups by careful and exciting cross programming. The alterations and additions to the existing building took into consideration a range of age groups and uses that may change naturally as needs be over time. The physical manifestation of the varying degrees of interpretation is an inciting collection of spaces of different scales, sizes and location around a site with animated topography and beautiful distant views.
Educational space is prioritised, but not in a sterile institutional manner. Peer learning and intergenerational learning is encouraged by classrooms that scale down to the height of tiny toddle, but these child spaces live comfortably and safely next to an eating space and amphitheatre where different age groups can come together. Proximity approximates and achieves a village-like atmosphere, and this feels like a very natural yet positively reinforcing extension of the surrounding township.
Materials and detailing are modest yet highly skilful. Careful selective elaboration teaches that considered detailing can make gutters and down pipes beautiful. The architecture is restrained yet sophisticated. The architects are commended for a job well done and are encouraged to continue to enrich the lives of South Africans in this way.”
AmaZink and the InZink amphitheatre at the Trust Centre are popular venues for a variety of cultural activities, including screenings of sports events, films and opera; live music performances; and InZync poetry sessions, hosted by SLIP (the Stellenbosch Literary Project).
The Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust depends upon donations from individuals and companies to support developing communities.
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