40ft Shipping Container School, - LaunchPads, Infinite Family, - Johannesburg, South Africa,
Perkins+Will, in collaboration with Atelier Ten, volunteered their time to design the first environmentally sustainable mentoring module. Called LaunchPad, it uses a repurposed shipping container for the Infinite Family initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa where millions of children grow up without the influence of adults. Amy Stokes, the program’s founder, wants to change this.
Infinite Family’s first LaunchPad mentoring lab opened in August 2012, in Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg. Their plan is to open one hundred LaunchPads over the next five years, serving more than 11,000 children. Rendering courtesy Perkins+Will.
The first LaunchPad in Alexandra is made out of a 40 ft shipping container and was designed to be safe, secure, energy-efficient, self-sustaining, and as environmentally sensitive as possible. A wall of recycled water bottles serves as thermal mass to provide cooling inside. A solar canopy on top provides shade in order to reduce heat gain and windows are strategically placed in locations that respond to site conditions for optimum orientation to the sun and prevailing breezes, which provide natural daylight and ventilation. Inside, the space is divided into open areas and cellular spaces for different activities. The container is also equipped with a photovoltaic system and battery backup to make sure the laboratory can operate on its own if the grid goes down
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