Nelson Mandela University Architecture student wins coveted architecture award

by Madelein
Nelson Mandela University Architecture student wins coveted architecture award

PG Bison has been running the prestigious 1.618 Education Initiative for 29 years. This annual design competition, aimed at third-year architecture and interior design students around South Africa, each year puts the final year students to the test by giving them a specific brief to focus their efforts on.

This year’s brief was set in Cape Town and required students to create a design to develop the historical Strand Street Quarry as an attractive tourist destination and connection hub along the City’s planned Heritage Route.

The winning project

The overall winner is Zander Etienne Deysel, architecture student at Nelson Mandela University, whose winning submission called Four Pillar Terminal – Revitalizing the Quarry walked away as the overall winner of the prestigious 2021 PG Bison Education Initiative winning a cash prize of R50 000 for both him and his lecturer too.

Zander says of his winning submission: “It is specifically designed to create social spaces for human interaction, while still incorporating the terminal aspect of the building and the environment around it.

The local Bo-Kaap heritage is represented by four large pillars, each colour coded in a different colour. With beautiful views to Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, and the ocean, this would be a building for everyone to visit.”

Giving life to the brief

Not being from Cape Town, was the most difficult part of the brief for Deysel, which remarkably meant he was unable to physically visit the site.

“The hardest part of the brief for me was designing a functional building that was sensitive to its context and integrated the local Bo-Kaap heritage and community, but I believe my building stands out because it acts as an extension to the quarry cliff with a rooftop promenade that allows for beautiful views all over Cape Town. By doing this, the building has minimal impact on the site and this allows for the site to be landscaped and social spaces to be created, revitalizing the quarry, and maintaining its heritage. Retail pods were also designed for the use of the local Bo-Kaap community.”

Deysel is thrilled at taking the win. “It is the highest honour that I have received up to this point and will help me to build and develop my career in architecture,” he enthuses. “In terms of the cash prize, a certain amount will go towards helping with my studies and the rest will be kept for future use.”

Worthy winners

Nelson Mandela University has enjoyed many successes in the 1.618 Education Initiative over the years, with architecture lecturers Donald Flint and Barry Bradley having assisted many of their students to develop top submissions, including 2019 winner, Sanette de Villiers.

“Congratulations to Zander,” says Lian Markham, Communications Manager at PG Bison. “The judges felt that beyond the design elements, the winning and second-place entries also took into account the unique cultural, historical and community context of the site, which was a critical part of the brief.”

“We hope this competition has provided a showcase for their skills and that it will unlock new opportunities for each one of them,” concludes Markham.

For more information visit: https://pgbison.co.za/blog/pg-bison-1-618-education-initiative-2021

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