Flagship Buildings

Nelson Mandela University has built some spectacular flagship buildings over the past number of years. Here are a few of them.

The layout, infrastructure and architecture of all university campuses, have a profound influence on their institutional culture. Nelson Mandela University has massively invested in architecture, infrastructure and infrastructural changes that reflect the culture and values of the only university in the world named after Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.



Masakhane (BEd Foundation Phase Building)

The Foundation Phase building on Missionvale Campus is named Masakhane, the isiXhosa word meaning “let’s build each other up” and in this context alludes to curiosity, willingness and hunger for knowledge. The building had a total project cost of R56.1m. Completed in January 2016, it boasts teaching facilities and offices, tailor-made for students studying Foundation Phase (Grade R to 3) teaching. Teaching facilities offer flexibility (i.e. objects in the room can be moved around).


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Business School

Situated on our Second Avenue Campus, the R116m Business School, completed in 2014, incorporates cutting-edge teaching facilities, including video-conferencing facilities, a 137-seat auditorium, multiple classrooms with seating for up to 90 people, syndicate rooms, an expanded Business School Library, a Computer Lab and a modern café with indoor and outdoor seating.

This building was the first in the education or public sector in South Africa to achieve a 4 Green Star design rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The 5500m2 building uses “green” materials, such as “smart” glass and timber that is approved by the Forestry Stewardship Council, an international body promoting the sustainable management of forests. The smart glass assists in reducing unnecessary heat gain, keeping lecture rooms and offices naturally cooler.


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High Performance Centre

The R40m High Performance Centre on our South Campus was completed in 2014. It offers facilities for students studying Human Movement Science, biokinetics and dietetics. A special feature is the state-of-the-art indoor track and field facility that assists top athletes to reach their full potential. It is described as the first complex of its kind in the country.


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Inkanyezi (Science Building)

This building on our South Campus completed in 2016 at a cost of R57m, houses laboratories, offices, lecture facilities and an auditorium.


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Mapungubwe (Engineering Building)

Completed in 2012, Mapungubwe (named after the ancient city of Mapungubwe in Limpopo, an Iron Age archaeological site rich in biodiversity and cultural importance) was built at a cost of R60m on our North Campus. It boasts classrooms, laboratories, offices and an auditorium. The façade is clad with about 800m² of RHEINZINK tiles, which acts as a thermal buffer to the 200-seat auditorium located behind it.


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Missionvale Campus Library

The Campus library was completed in 2010 at a cost of R39m. This building has won awards for its eco-friendly infrastructure. For instance, the introduction of outside air into the building is controlled by sensors monitoring internal CO2 levels, thereby eliminating unnecessary heating or cooling. The library is among the first buildings in the country to incorporate the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface system (DALI) with a KNX control system, which automatically controls internal lighting levels via daylight harvesting sensors and occupancy sensors. This is important for maintaining a stable environmental condition, as light can be damaging to books.


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Newtonian (Engineering Building)

Newtonian, on the North Campus was built at a cost of R35m and completed in 2016. The building was constructed to add additional lecture and workshop space for the extension and growth of the Engineering Department. Housed in the building is a workshop area, particularity for the development of the Mechatronics and Automotive sections, a 160-seat auditorium, multi-purpose tutorial rooms, which can be divided up into smaller areas or expanded into larger areas, and office area and ablutions and pause areas.


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Vulindlela (Lecture Venue)

Vulindlela – the circular lecture hall on the Second Avenue Campus – was recently named using the isiXhosa word meaning pioneering. It’s unusually architecture and interior design make it a stand-out building on this campus.


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