Venue

UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

The State-of-the Art new School of Economics and Student Administration Buildings were constructed to create a new level of excellence at UCT. The School of Economics building, opened on 8 November 2011, features an iconic silver tree in its atrium as a living legacy to thank the donors.

The architects, Van der Merwe Miszewski had this to say:

“The School of Economics rests on a gentle incline falling away from the M3 highway below Upper Campus.  Viewed from afar, the Middle Campus provides a green foreground to the classic Upper Campus composition of buildings."

The architects' appointment followed a lengthy process of urban analysis and public participation. This series of studies culminated in the urban proposal of ComriWilkinson, completed in 2008. In response to this study, the architects elected to distribute the bulk in rectangular footprints parallel to the contours of the site, thus forming linear shafts of solid structure and open space, defined as internal atria.

Its architectural model is, in essence, derived from the spatial structure of the original Upper Campus – however in no way does it attempt to mimic the Upper Campus.

The buildings are contemporary, however they are reflective of the historical context. The School is developed within an intrinsic ‘Sylvan Setting’, which will be maintained and reinforced. The new buildings, external spaces and landscaping are intended to increase the density of the Middle Campus by utilizing and improving ‘wasted open space’ left over after planning in the 1980s.

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FAST FACTS:

There are approximately 15 countries represented at the SoE (staff and students) and 12 or 13 for staff.

The total number of undergraduate Economics students in 2014: 3000 plus

The total number of postgraduate Economics students in 2014: approx. 340

The total number of PhD students who graduated in 2014: 5

Research outputs/contracts:

   61 journal articles

   2 authored books

   4 edited books

   24 chapters in books.