Architectural awards recognise students who have a clear understanding of modern, environment-friendly technologies.

A fine architect is known for combining design talent with engineering ability, social awareness and an aptitude for business. In recent years this skills set has, of necessity, expanded to include the pursuit of sustainable development.

Today’s projects demand a clear understanding of the impact of modern technologies on the environment as well as the importance of wise water consumption, low energy usage and a light carbon footprint. Students of architecture who embrace these concepts and unite them with their artistic talent are those who will shape the built environment of the future.

These are the students who will be acknowledged and rewarded at the 28th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, which is currently in its regional phase at eight universities across the country in the run-up to the national finals in Johannesburg in April 2015.

Lisa Corgne of Corobrik presented prizes to architectural students of the University of Witwatersrand. The regional winner of R8 000 was Sarah de Villiers, with Adeline Gruber and Elliott Marsden sharing the second prize of R6 000 each. The winner of the R4 000 prize for best use of clay masonry was Jarred Pincus.

The overall winner from among the regional finalists will be named and presented with a cheque for R50 000 at the 28th Corobrik Architectural Student awards function at The Maslow in Johannesburg on 22 April 2015.

“We are well into our third decade of sponsoring these awards,” says Lisa. “Our intention has always been to inspire design excellence but the complexities of the global environment today demand a far broader vision from our students. We are looking for a deepened sensitivity towards the three pillars of sustainable development – the environment, the economy and our social fabric. This has to be seamlessly combined with practical solutions to a particular architectural challenge and with artistic flair that embodies the spirit of the vibrant South African nation.”

“The students who have received awards today have demonstrated remarkable maturity in their work and a welcome acceptance of the multifaceted approach we expect from them, which bodes well for the future of the profession and the sustainability of our planet.”

Winning ideas

1.    Sarah de Villiers’ thesis ‘Idea Bank’ proposes that people from Alexandra with business ideas can upload their concept onto an Idea ATM.
2.    Adeline Gruber’s thesis is entitled ‘Translating the ‘Man-made’ – An Underwater Observatory on The Shoreline of Lake Malawi. The construction will provide a livelihood for local fisherman and be a sanctuary for native cichlid fish.
3.    Jarred Pincus received the award for best use of clay brick in his ‘Fortress of Faith’. The project incorporated brick as the site is Jerusalem, Israel, which has a stringent urban building code that requires the façade of a building to be constituted of 60% Jerusalem Stone.