Beehive Hall

Chilomoni, Blantyre
“It is a breath-taking, large, multi-functional space. I rank it number one of all the buildings on campus in terms of ventilation”
(Tiyezge Ngwira, Beehive Employee based in one of the Beehive Hall offices)
Location
Beehive Main Campus, Chilomoni, Blantyre, Malawi
Type
School Hall / Community Hall
Year of Construction
2018 – 2019
Design Architect
Steven Smith
Project Architect
Julianne Cassidy
Design Engineer
Zedi Nyirenda
Geotechnical Engineer
Zedi Nyirenda
Project Engineers
Hendrix Mgawana and Zedi Nyirenda
Total Building Area (Approx. GEA)
1104m2
Number of Storeys
2
Construction Cost
510,000,000 MWK
(£520,566 GBP – rate correct as of 24th August 2020)
Cost per m²
461,956 MWK/m²
(£472 GBP/m²)

Although separate entities, all Beehive enterprises share a unique bond, and are all connected by Beehive’s overarching ethos of ‘public service, personal sacrifice’. As the number of Beehive enterprises began to grow, and the number of employees and students increased, the need for a common space for gathering, meeting and collective worship became necessary.

The Beehive Hall is therefore a multipurpose building, suitable for a wide range of activities, from workshops and meetings to assemblies and dining. The main Hall space is double-height, with a floor area of 420m2 to accommodate up to 500 people at a time. A large, raised stage creates a point of focus, beneath which a generous basement provides storage for furniture and equipment.

A ‘service’ spine is located to the North of the main Hall area, containing WCs and a modern Kitchen at ground level, and a series of office/classroom spaces at first floor level. Slot windows penetrate the walls of the corridor to the upper level, creating visual connections to the main Hall space below. Above the main entrance to the West, an open Balcony provides a cool, informal workspace for students at break times. A series of louvred windows to the East wall of the balcony allow views down to the main Hall space when required.

The Hall is framed with a series of reinforced concrete columns, clad externally with Beehive’s site-made Hydraform blocks. Column-free spans are created in the main hall space via a series of steel trusses at roof level, which extend beyond the bounds of the walls to create shaded external areas directly adjacent to the building, including a dramatic entrance plaza. The roof is ‘lifted’ at the connection with the walls, and filled in with mesh screens, which allow the Hall to be naturally ventilated. A row of tall glazed doors occupy the South façade of the Hall, providing access to a paved external ‘Terrace,’ which is shaded by the overhanging roof. The Terrace offers stunning views out to the mountains beyond and, eventually, will create a visual connection to the St. Kizito Primary School below.