The first four of the eight 2011/2012 winners are:
University of the Western Cape Life Sciences (CIA)
The new Life Sciences Department is aimed to place the University Western Cape on the world map as a centre of teaching excellence. It fuses six departments into one development to promote interdepartmental and trans-disciplinary research. The two major components – laboratory and learning centre – are joined by a social nucleus comprised of the lobby and gathering space oversailed by a shading canopy, supported by tree-like columns. The learning centre integrates the development into the broader campus and houses a state-of-the-
The judges say: The UWC Life Sciences building successfully showcases a commitment to sustainable building practice and resource efficiency in the way that it responds to the environment and demonstrates cost effective strategies, placing this building at the forefront of responsible architecture in the country. The architecture is enormously progressive in both what it intended to achieve and how it achieved it. It will set the benchmark for how institutional buildings will be scoped in future. The depth of detail of the blinds to shade the sun and the vegetable garden on the roof is a serious attempt to tread softly to create architecture with a low impact in spaces that are inspiring and in context with the forward/progressive nature of the institution.
The brief to SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects called for a beach house suitable for a family of four, on a vacant site in Voelklip, Hermanus. The gently sloping site presented the opportunity for a split-level living space allowing lounge and dining to be placed above the bedrooms on the ground level, all enjoying dramatic sea views. The double volume family room and kitchen form the heart of the home and form the connection between the sea facing accommodation and the internal sunny terraces, pool and garden. The main garden courtyard functions as a large wind free and sunny outdoor entertainment environment.
The judges say: This holiday home is an architectural marvel in the design ingenuity applied – it befits the idiom 'god is in the detail' by the assemblage sensitivity and crisp clarity of construction that is carried throughout the entire structure. Apart from the sheer quality of the spaces and how they interrelate, one of the most successful aspects of this building is how it to relates to the outside – there is always a relationship to the outdoors, no matter where you are in the home. You are enclosed, but you aren’t closed in.
Untamed is the result of a collaborative process between a sculptor, writer and an architect. Dylan Lewis, the sculptor, had a strong intuitive idea about the subject Ian McCallum, the writer, discusses in his book, ‘Ecological Intelligence’
The judges say: Architecture, sculpture and philosophy are brought together in a seamless gesture of fusional arts, crafts, science and literature. It is a temporary structure whose spatial experience, through a considered imagination, brings about meditation on the philosophical text and sculptures housed within the folly: transcending the perceived experience of gallery. The museum feeling makes one think how relevant the real issue of environmental sustainability is, particularly the issues of indigenous flora and fauna, the importance of using recycling and recycled materials and combining vegetation with recycled materials.
Ubuntu Centre (ECIA)
This project, designed by Field Architecture in association with John Blair Architects and Ngonyama Okpanum Hewitt-Coleman, was commissioned by the Ubuntu Education Fund to provide a centre of operations for its health and educational outreach programmes serving the township of Zwide. It houses a wellness wing with a clinic specialising in HIV and tuberculosis prevention and counselling as well as an education wing for group study, remedial classes and career guidance. At the heart of the building, running through two floors, is a multi-purpose space for after-school educational programmes, community theatre, or for workshops.
The judges say: The building makes a permanent statement of architectural excellence in that it contrasts with historical design approaches within a ‘township’
See Media Release B for Four More Winners
Distributed on behalf of the SA Institute of Architects.
For information on the content of the release kindly contact:
Su Linning or Marina Meyer at SAIA 011 782 1415
Distributed by Shirley Williams Communications.
Additional photographs are available from Shirley on Shirley@swcommunications.co.za or telephone 083 303 1663 and 031 564 7700