Johannesburg, South Africa
26°01'35.0"S 27°55'12.5"E
Completed 2012

6,000 SF / 560 M2

The schoolhouse, now known as 'Thingo Kids Preschool' serves a mixed-income neighborhood in Cosmo City, Johannesburg. It is the first early childhood education center in the community where most children are sent to crèches (daycares) that lack in resources and academic curriculum.

Awards & Press:
- Winner, 2013 Engineering News Record (ENR) Global Best Projects Award
- Finalist / Popular Choice Winner, 2013 Architizer A+ Award
- Winner, 2011 Oikos Sustainable Campus Leader Award
- Winner, 2011 Cornell Leadership in Sustainability Award
- Featured on CNBC Africa: Business Spotlight, ArchDaily, Housing in Southern Africa, Cornell media, and media in South Africa, United States, and Spain.

The school is an early childhood development (ECD) center in Johannesburg, South Africa. It accommodates 80 children and houses a teacher-training center. The school is a product of a two year process orchestrated by Cornell University Sustainable Design, an interdisciplinary student-led organization at Cornell University. Students, with the help of academic advisors and industry professionals, executed the project through a semester of research, a semester of design development integrated into the Bachelor of Architecture comprehensive design studio curriculum, and three months of construction.


Jeremy Foster, Kifle G Gebremedhin, Werner Goehner, George Hascup, Alex Mergold, Arthur Ovaska, Andrea Simitch

Barry Beagen (Project Director), Andrew Fu (Lead Designer), Shuping Liu (Construction Drawing Coordinator), Thomas Shouler (Structural Engineer), Jonathan Leape (Construction Manager), Mikey Jiang (Utilities), Karen Chi-Chi Lin (Marketing and Communications), Carly Dean (Exhibition Director and On-Site Safety Manager), Jesse McElwain (Director of Development)

Sidney Beaty, Joe Beaudette, Yen Chiang, Christine Chung, Alex Cote, Jorge Cuervo Manrique, Mercedes Cuvi, Will Dibernardo, Robert Dicker, Juliette Dubroca, Mary Bray Erickson, Ben Fleury, Jessica Fracassini, Stephanie Glass, Stephanie Gitto, Mikhail Grinwald, Wendy Gu, Peter Gudonis, Laura Hammerer, Donald Hicks, Wei-Yen Hsieh, Siyabonga Jezile, Alexandrea Klimoski, Yoonjee Koh, Joceyln Kuo, Tiffany Kuo, Johnny Lau, Brian Lee, Michael Lee, Jacqueline Liu, Daniel Lu, Erin Pellegrino, Lexi Quint, Jake Rudin, Eric Rutgers, Lillian Simon, Alex Simpson, Tito Soto, Elliot Sperling, Carina Steinhoff, Jose Tijerina, Daniel Torres, Maria Villarraga, Shu Wang

Photo credits: Andrew Fu and the CUSD team.