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Pretoria architects gain international recognition

by Ofentse Sefolo
Pretoria architects gain international recognition

Recognising outstanding urban and architectural works that contribute to public space and life, the International Urban Project Award (IUPA) shortlisted projects from all over the globe. The main criterion for 2020 was a strong urban design to withstand challenging times as well as empowering the city and its citizens. Most of the projects strive to establish openness to users and uses, while all of them have a socio-cultural mission.

One such exemplary project is Earthworld Architects’ design of the Future Africa Innovation Campus, where their combination of high-level design processes with local resources and skills challenged existing design and construction processes. It won them a special mention in the 2020 International Urban Project Award (IUPA).

Their fresh design approach is based on new methods of learning and teaching, which revolve around a campus lifestyle rather than just a lecture hall. Located on the northern ridge of Strubenskop in Pretoria, the new campus would anchor the southern edge of the University of Pretoria’s experimental farm, Proefplaas.

The brief called for several programmes to be accommodated, including a dining hall, a conference centre, research commons and 300 living units, ranging from single bedrooms to family units. A further requirement was to keep future expansion in mind. The 300 housing units are prefabricated from precast concrete and assembled on site, with services and fittings having already been installed.

Where conventional universities consist of clusters of buildings with few shared facilities, creating islands and isolation, the Future Africa Innovation Campus provides an integrated work-life environment for post-doctorate students, fostering fellowship, understanding and collaboration between the diverse cultures and disciplines on the African continent.

For a full list of the winners and finalists, visit https://www.bauwelt.de/rubriken/betrifft/IUPA-2020-International-Urban-Project-Award-3601401.html.

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