The finalists in the 36th Corobrik Student Architecture Awards, selected from eight universities, have been announced. Each will receive a R10,000 prize and the opportunity to compete for the top title, including a R70,000 grand prize, at a live event on Tuesday, 16 May. The finalists were selected based on their architectural master’s theses from the class of 2022.
“Our relationship with the awards goes back some 36 years, and it is one that has proved very enlightening for Corobrik. It has added a lot of depth and enriched the architectural profession by allowing young up-and-coming architects to express themselves and show the kinds of directions they believe architecture should be going in,” says Corobrik CEO Nick Booth.
The 36th Corobrik Student Architecture Awards finalists are:
Melicia van Loggerenberg, University of Pretoria
Entitled “Environment as a cognitive prosthesis”, Van Loggerenberg’s mini-dissertation highlights the lack of age-inclusive interventions in public and social environments, specifically pertaining to the growing elderly demographic.
A further critique of geriatric care architecture provides insight into the gaps in the discourse of which our failure to consider cognitive dependencies is the biggest shortcoming. The results of Van Loggerenberg’s research serve as a guideline for future projects advocating against ageist urban environments, contributing to a knowledge source that we will soon not be able to design without.
Mia Pulles, University of the Witwatersrand
Entitled “Igniting the heart(h): Resuscitating the heritage of the Melville Koppies through earth and fire craft production”, Pulles’ project engages with the conservation and resuscitation of the Melville Koppies site in Johannesburg.
It celebrates its ancient, richly-layered heritage with the design of a living museum, an artisanal pottery-making and iron-forging production space – crafts both deeply embedded in the site’s untold history.
Katherine van Wyngaarden, University of Cape Town
Entitled “Playful architecture – constructing sociality”, Van Wyngaarden’s project explores themes of playful architecture and how activated, adaptable and dynamic spaces are created by embracing the inherent instability of social space. The project is situated within an imagined future fabric of District 6 in Cape Town, on a site with existing activities to be plugged into and reinforced.
Ané Meyer, University of the Free State
Meyer’s thesis is entitled “Ephemeral skin: Towards a reparational, relational, and respectful engagement with the temporal environment”.
The design of an algae research and manufacturing institute at Hartbeespoort Dam focuses on permanence and temporality in nature and the built form, growing and decaying with the landscape. The building will partly disappear over time, leaving a public park after the threat posed by hazardous algae blooms and the subsequent need for algae research is no longer dominant.
Luzuko Funda, Nelson Mandela University
Funda’s project, “The design of buildings for the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare in East London”, aims to revitalise the city surrounding the campus. It creates an ‘edge building’ that interacts with the public realm, while slightly touching the natural landscape to preserve the natural edge.
The technical design looks at adapting the existing Old Miriam Makeba building on the site and using modular systems as an architectural expression to create a sustainable building that fits the context.
Kreolin Lyle Naicker, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Naicker’s research, “An exploration of water security through architecture: Towards a learning centre in Durban”, aims to change our perception of water by means of a multi-sensory experience of the treatment process. The built and natural environment becomes a living system that demonstrates the water-cleaning process through an outdoor park with various bio-retention systems, allowing visitors to “(re)connect with nature”.
The design encapsulates a strong axis from the entrance to the harbour, with adjoining interactive learning spaces and seating areas to attract visitors, forming active and informal learning environments.
Cindy Langa, University of Johannesburg
Langa’s project, “Broken narratives and blurred recollections: [Re]Constructing Sharpeville’s broken memorial landscape”, critiques the memorialisation of the Sharpeville massacre. “It proves how the memory of the massacre has been vandalised – narratively and physically – pre- and post-democracy. I argue that the blatant erasure of these narratives is an act of violence against the victims, and the surviving community of Sharpeville,” says Langa.
Francois Luc Groenewald, Tshwane University of Technology
Entitled “The design of an exploratorium at the Swartkop Air Force Base, Valhalla, South Africa”, sheds light on the unrecognised and forgotten narratives of our aviation history.
The thesis reconstructs and reactivates a pre-apartheid, post-WW1 conservation site dedicated for aviation commemoration into an appropriate architectural solution by rescripting the programme, use and aviation heritage resources.
To view the winning regional projects and to watch the awards live on 16 May, go to www.studentawards.corobrik.co.za.
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