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Four Winning Projects from Corobrik-SAIA Awards for Excellence 2012

Eight South African projects have been chosen from the 55 put forward into the 2011/12 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence.

Voelklip in Hermanus, one of the Cape Winners
Voelklip in Hermanus, one of the Cape Winners
Sept. 17, 2012 - PRLog -- Eight South African projects have been chosen from the 55 put forward into the 2011/12 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence. The projects were singled out at a ceremony held on September 14 as part of the SAIA AZA Biennial convention in Cape Town. The Corobrik-SAIA Awards are made to members of SAIA to encourage and recognise good design or a significant contribution in the field of architecture. The Award for Excellence is made only for an exceptional achievement in the field of architecture.

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-art lecture theatre, computer lab-resource centre, seminar and tutorial rooms and a cafeteria opening onto the gathering space.

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.

Voelklip (CIA)
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 (CIA)
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’. He researched environmentally conscious architects who had collaborated with artists and approached Enrico Daffonchio. Conceptual and briefing workshops explored the internal psychological conflict between our rational mind and our repressed wildness. This theme was expressed in the building by the contrast between the “living wall” and the rusted metal wall.

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’ environment, making this centre a culturally receptive iconic building with which the community can associate as well as derive a sense of dignity and pride. The use of the typical South African materials of concrete, wood and slate, and how they have been combined, presents a quality and enduring finish, which is perfect for the context of the building and its uses.

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

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Tags:Corobrik-SAIA Awards, Architecture Awards
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