Saint-Gobain launches inaugural Social Gain Awards by Architects for Architects & Students

by Tania Wannenburg

The Architecture for Social Gain Awards 2015, conceptualized by Saint-Gobain in association with the South African Institute of Architects, to recognize and reward talent in the design of spaces that promote learning and development, will launched today.

This initiative forms part of the locally planned celebratory activities to commemorate the global 350 year anniversary of Saint-Gobain, world leader in the habitat and construction market.

The three categories for entry include FUTURE (concepts and proposals) BUILT (existing projects) and the ADOPT-a- School proposal for structures to be built to brief. Certificates will be awarded to Professional and Student winners in each category, with the top adjudicated entry in each category winning the prize of a trip to Paris in October, to take part in the global Saint-Gobain 350 year anniversary celebrations.

The awards process has chosen digital entries over site inspections to allow for ease of submissions from across South Africa.  It will also offer judges more time to evaluate entries without compromising their busy day to day commitments.

Embracing this new concept of running architecture awards will also extend to increased transparency, with all entries being posted live on www.social-gain.co.za<http://www.social-gain.co.za> as they are submitted. The adjudication process will be a rigorous one where judges will review every entry independently of the People’s Choice voting process.

The People’s Choice award has been included to promote and encourage participation in the review of submissions, and based on the number of public likes registered for respective entries, a certificate will be awarded to the overall “most liked” entry.

“The primary objective of this awards programme is, in the spirt of the groups 350 year anniversary, to locally recognize the collective creative power of architects in South Africa to assist with the provision and design of education spaces.

In addition, it aims to promote and celebrate architecture that positively effects the integration of community and environment for the long term benefit to both people and the planet,” explained Evan Lockhart-Barker, Marketing Manager Saint-Gobain.

“Saint-Gobain promotes innovative thinking and use of materials within the spaces in which people live, work and play. Inventive thinking and use of materials to improve and enhance structures and spaces that benefit people, habitats and sustainability will be considered in the judging process,” said Evan.

The judging panel comprises of a list of esteemed members of our local Architecture community. In no particular order, the following judges have kindly agreed to participate in the judging process;

Sindile Ngonyama: President of the South African Institute of Architects
Daniel van der Merwe: President of GIFA (Gauteng Institute for Architecture)
Paul Ramusetheli: Civil Engineer & Head of Infrastructure Adopt-a-School Foundation
Tshego Moiloa: Founder of Moiloa Office of Architecture+Design
Mokena Makeka: Directs award winning architecture practice, Makeka Design & Lab and founded MoDILA (Museum of Design Innovation Leadership and Art, SA)
Hugh Fraser: Lecturer in Architecture in SA, US & UK and currently holds the position of media manager at Paragon Group: Architects & Interior Architects

Entries open on 1 April 2015 and close on 30 June 2015. Entry is free. All professional architects and students may enter as many of their projects or concepts as they believe will qualify in the three categories.

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony to be hosted in Johannesburg in August 2015.

Go to the dedicated awards portal www.social-gain.co.za<http://www.social-gain.co.za> to read up on the various category options, check out the blog, watch short video clips on why architects should enter the awards, frequently asked questions, upload your submissions and make sure you get support from colleagues, family and friends who may participate in the people’s choice awards.

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