Saint-Gobain has announced the winners of its inaugural Architecture for Social Gain Awards 2015.

The winners of the inaugural Architecture for Social Gain Awards 2015, announced in August, will travel to Paris in October to take part in the official Saint-Gobain 350th anniversary celebrations.

Having attracted a total of 38 project entries across the three categories, Future, Built and Adopt-a-School, and an impressive 8 896 public votes for the People’s Choice Award in just one week, as well as international interest from the United States and Germany in particular, the competition’s popularity was affirmed.

“We were thrilled with the number of online entries received as these awards challenged industry norms. With the call for strictly digital entries architects were challenged to move beyond the traditional medium of submitting hardcopies of drawings and renderings, and embrace the realm of the video entry format, which encouraged digital story-telling around submissions,” says Evan Lockhart-Barker, managing director of Weber Saint-Gobain.

The quality of the entries and the digital submissions impressed the judges so much so that an additional award for “Best Movie” was added to the competition during the judging process.

The Social Gain Awards were conceptualised by Saint-Gobain to recognise and reward talent in the design of spaces that promote learning and development, as part of the company’s 350th anniversary celebrations.

The winners

    Built category – 18 entries.
Overview: Projects completed between January 2011 and June 2015. These are spaces where people can develop themselves and includes new and renovated work.

Architects: Local Studio – Johannesburg.
Project: Outreach Foundation Community Centre – Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

    Future category – 17 entries.
Overview: Proposed future developmental projects. It includes unbuilt work and proposals for projects or commentary.

Architects: KMH Architects – Cape Town.
Project: The Market Theatre Foundation Multipurpose Facility.

    Adopt category – 3 entries.
Overview: Entrants chose a school from a supplied list, and supplied and submitted a design proposal. The winning proposal will be built in 2016 by Saint-Gobain in association with Adopt-a-School Foundation.

Architects: Kate Otten Architects – Johannesburg.
Project: Motshegofadiwa Primary School – Hammanskraal.

    People’s Choice Award
Overview: All entries were posted on the social-gain.co.za, website where people could vote by liking or sharing on social media.

Architects: Stauch Voster Architects, Ecobrick Exchange (with 2 392 votes).
Project: Penguins Pre-school.

    Best Movie Award
Overview: This award was introduced to recognise an architectural practice that embraced the format of digital submissions with a movie that told a story of a building, which demonstrated the fundamental principle of social gain and user satisfaction.

In a documentary-style movie, East Coast Architects used one of the Vele Secondary School learners to take the viewer through the project, highlighting every sustainable design feature from the vegetable gardens to the recycling of greywater in the bathrooms.

Architects: East Coast Architects – Durban.
Project: Vele Secondary School – Limpopo Province.

Visit www.social-gain.co.za to view all the submissions in the 2015 Architecture for Social Gain Awards.