Student Architects focused on innovation

by Tania Wannenburg

Architectural students awarded at the 29th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Innovation blended with sustainability, social awareness and technical excellence in 29th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards

Innovative thinking is the mark of a fine architect and it will take innovation to meet the architectural challenges of the future. The many aspects which make up a leading design include the principles of sustainability, appropriate built cost and attractive lifecycle costs, technical skill and an appreciation of the social context of a structure in its community. However, it is creative flair that sets great architects above their peers as they strive to make exceptional and meaningful contributions to South Africa’s diverse and multi-cultural landscape.

This was evident in the run-up to the 29th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, according to Dirk Meyer, Managing Director of Corobrik.

The competition has been held annually for the past 28 years to reward and advance excellence in the profession nationwide. It starts with regional rounds at eight major universities throughout South Africa. Then, the overall national winner from among the regional finalists is named and presented with a cheque for R50 000 at the 29th Architectural Student of the Year Awards function in Johannesburg on 11 May 2016.

Ockert van Heerden, Corobrik Sales Director, presented prizes to architectural students of Tshwane University of Technology. The regional winner of R8 000 was Ulrich Pieterse, with Brendon Williams receiving the R6 500 second prize and Christelle Coetzee taking home the third prize of R4 500. The prize of R4 500 for the best use of clay was won by Rohan van Eerden.

Ulrich Pieterse’s thesis is ‘The design of an institute for the documentation of fossil heritage in Nieu Bethesda, Karoo.’ The dissertation deals with the making of a palaeontological research and display centre to document fossils from the Nieu Bethesda area and the Karoo. The project acts as a catalyst for the creation of a satellite campus for the use by South African universities and scientists.

In second place, Brendon Williams’ thesis is ‘A centre for the preservation and cultivation of Bushmen Culture in Andriesvale, Northern Cape.’ This thesis investigates the conservation of the Khoisan “Bushman”.

Christelle Coetzee’s entry, entitled ‘Transforming Ndlovu Node’, is the design of an ecological observatory in Phalaborwa. It is situated at the existing PMC Copper and FOSCOR phosphate mine south of the town of Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province.

Rohan van Eeden was awarded for the best use of clay brick in his design of a Biophilic Wastewater Treatment Facility in Diepsloot. Rohan says he selected Corobrik satin face brick to be used on faceted brick facades.

“Student architects over the decades have discovered that clay brick is a quality building product with a natural propensity to express the craft of architecture in beautiful and memorable ways as they begin a career that will enable them to enhance the built environment of South Africa into the future,” concludes Ockert.

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