The architects of tomorrow are challenged to explore the world around them and how they can contribute to South Africa’s advancement in design and architecture.
Corobrik’s 27th Architectural Student of the Year Award was presented to Heidi van Eeden from the University of Pretoria, who took first place for her thesis entitled, “Machinarium: Architecture as a living machine, a 21st century textile mill.”
This annual award was developed to promote quality design and to acknowledge talent among architectural students. Edna Perez, who supervised Heidi’s thesis, noted that the awards were important as they motivated students to think about their roles as architects in a fast-changing world by encouraging them to become the best designers they could be.
Heidi’s dissertation alludes to new ways of architectural development in a rapidly changing, 21st-century world. The project is an investigation into the potential of industry as an urban catalyst – a mechanism with which to regenerate urban environments and re-integrate fragmented socio-ecological systems. In an attempt to redefine modern concepts of waste and mitigate the flood of pollution emanating from 20th century industrialization. The investigation is focused on the re-structuring of the textile industry and is contextually based in an ‘urban wasteland’ – the Daspoort Wastewater and Sewage Treatment Works.
Edna pointed out that Heidi explored one of the biggest challenges of our time – how to transform wasted sites, wasted structures and wasted land into sites that can regenerate conditions within which life can flourish and evolve.
Corobrik Managing Director, Dirk Meyer, said that there has been an exciting evolution in the architectural debate surrounding issues related to sustainability. This new urban architecture not only concentrated on top priority environmental issues but on more deep routed social issues associated with the creation of a built environment that addressed the needs of its users and created a sense of place.
In turn, the judges are confident that this building is build able and provides an upliftment to the immediate community it benefits, by acknowledging an inherent industry and supporting its growth. It will be an asset to the city of Tshwane.