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The School of
St. Jude




Arusha, Tanzania



Project Size

2068 sqm

Baraka Sikawa l Sune Mushendwa


The School of St. Jude



Concept Design

"Students come first".

Unity and Solidarity can be translated as working hand-in-hand, team work and creating a strong bond.

The School of St. Jude, located in Arusha, is renowned for its commitment to providing quality education to underprivileged children in Tanzania. As part of our design contribution, we envisioned a concept for their new sports hall in Usa River, a versatile space that serves as a hub for various sporting activities and school events.


We have placed the students at the center of the activities of the sports hall, any alternative use of the hall as well as the aesthetic design itself. The design focuses on allowing many different activities on a flexible plan including sports, meetings, exams and various functions. The students can socialize freely within the space while taking part in sports or being spectators.

The design draws its inspiration from symbolism of a diverse group of happy children/students united by the four pillars of the School of St. Jude - Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Kindness.

The architectural design uses a triangle (the strongest geometric shape where force is evenly spread) to represent unity. The symbolism extends to a group of children holding hands in solidarity. In the architectural design this is represented by a continuous bond between a series of triangles. The colors create harmony with the existing buildings on the St. Jude campus while remaining playful, cheerful and fresh. 

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The sports hall is designed to be multifunctional, catering to a range of sports such as basketball, netball, volleyball, and indoor football. The layout and dimensions of the space are carefully planned to accommodate these activities, ensuring the optimal playing environment for students to develop their athletic skills.

Beyond sports, the sports hall is designed with flexibility in mind. The entire space can be transformed into a hall suitable for school activities and events, including graduations, assemblies, and other important gatherings. This adaptability allows the School of St. Jude to utilize the facility to its fullest potential, maximizing its value for the school community.

The hall is designed to be energy self-sufficient and create as small environmental impact as possible. The large roof allows for installation of solar panels which charge batteries in the designated power room.

Fins on the side of the building direct a natural flow of air to ventilate and cool the building without the need for artificial air circulation. The choice of concrete, stone and burnt bricks as the main structural construction material is locally sourced thus reducing the overall environmental impact of the building. Natural lighting is carefully managed through the large transparent and translucent panes to create a natural well lit interior without causing excess heating. The white suspended acoustic ceilings (which are possible because of the raised trusses) require less lighting due to their reflective nature and thus the hall needs less lights and less power for lighting at night.

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The stage has a multi-functionality where it acts as a regular stage for events but also as a sports ground for table tennis and for rock climbing. The rock climbing façade is strategically designed and placed to minimize echo in the hall which tends to be a problem in all large enclosed spaces. Likewise the ventilation fins and the acoustic ceiling also act to eliminate echo and to enhance sound quality.

he concept design emphasizes functionality, safety, and aesthetics. High-quality flooring materials, suitable for various sports, are selected to provide optimal performance and minimize the risk of injuries. Adequate lighting is incorporated to ensure clear visibility during games and events, enhancing the overall experience for participants and spectators alike.

The sports hall concept also considers the integration of audiovisual systems and acoustics to support presentations and performances during school functions. Thoughtful design elements, such as retractable seating or movable partitions, offer additional flexibility, enabling the space to adapt to different event requirements.

Moreover, the design takes into account the principles of sustainability, with eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient systems incorporated where possible. This aligns with the School of St. Jude's commitment to environmental consciousness and promoting sustainable practices.

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