A spatially complex reconfiguration of an existing Wits University building. The challenge was to consolidate the fossil collections located in two adjacent buildings into an integrated seamless series of spaces. This was done by joining the basements of two buildings through the insertion of an additional linking piece to create a series of rooms and vaults housing one of the largest and most important fossil collections of ancient dinosaurs, therapsid mammal-like reptiles, plants and fossil hominids in the world. A series of specialist laboratories for fossil preparation and analysis were also provided.

The existing courtyard of the building was modified to strengthen its relationship as an open space to the offices and as the core social meeting space of the building. A second phase saw the consolidation of the Comparative Anatomy Collections and the Hominid Collections in a customised secured archive vault – The Phillip V. Tobias Fossil Primate and Hominid Laboratory has become a working hub for cutting edge research using the extensive and growing collections housed within it.

Lenticular concrete illustrations of signature fossils housed in the Evolutionary Studies Unit