Winners of the 2010 DesignHub student architecture competition announced

Winners of the 2010 DesignHub Respond Renew Revitalise student architecture competition were announced at Saint-Gobain Construction Products’ Samrand Innovation Station on Tuesday 22 February 2011. The competition, in its fifth year, saw students at participating South African universities recognised for their innovative and revolutionary approach to the rejuvenation of some of the country’s most well known landmarks. Saint-Gobain Construction Products, global leaders in innovative construction solutions, was the headline sponsor of the competition.

The competition brief tasked the students to investigate the profile of an existing multi-storey, multi-use building in their city, and to submit a proposal for its revitalisation, giving particular consideration to energy efficiency, sustainability, socio-political implications, and the original design.

DesignHub Respond Renew Revitalise was included in the syllabus for fourth year architecture students at the University of the Free State, the University of Pretoria, and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. External mentors volunteered to guide the students and give them insights into the practical issues of the architecture industry, while Saint-Gobain’s Technical and Specifications team offered on-tap advice about energy efficiency in the built environment.

Temba Jauch from the University of Cape Town won R20 000 for making the best use of Gyproc, Isover and Weber products in his proposal to renew and revitalise the derelict Atholone Power Station. “Temba’s level of critical engagement – from macro to micro details – was creative at every level,” said Kim Fairbairn of Fairbairn Architecture.

His mentor, Rodney Lloyd, was recognised for his guidance in working with Temba to address a particularly key area of concern in Cape Town. “Rod’s support of this project shows his keen awareness of the wide range of issues surrounding this site, and its importance as a node in the city of Cape Town,” Kim added. His prize was a Sony Vaio notebook computer, and a course at the Green Building Council of South Africa.

The proposal submitted by Jankel Nieuwoudt from the University of Pretoria was acknowledged for the highest level of sustainability and compliance with energy efficiency standards described in SANS 204, winning R10 000. His proposal, entitled “Serving the City: The Carlton as Mechanism for Change in Urban Johannesburg”, showed an innovative approach to all the issues affecting this troubled site in the heart of Johannesburg. Jankel won a cash prize of R10 000.

Piet Vosloo of the University of Pretoria was named the best lecturer to participate in the DesignHub Respond Renew Revitalise competition. “His commitment to his students is clear, and it is very evident that his students are inspired by his leadership,” said Terence Shacklady of Empowered Spaces Architecture, one of the judges. His prize is a trip to the 2012 Design Indaba worth R15 000.

The team from the architecture department at University of Pretoria was named the best University Architecture Department to participate in the competition, in recognition of the outstanding level of entries from all participating students. “Students emerging from the University of Pretoria’s architecture programme are going to be the most employable on the market, thanks to its commitment to the students and to architecture,” Kim said. A cheque for R60 000 was handed to the Department, in recognition of its excellence.

“Each year, we are impressed by the standard of submissions to the competition,” said Lisa Reynolds, Saint-Gobain South Africa’s Technical and Specification Director. “This year, the students exceeded our expectations again, with carefully considered, innovative solutions that were they to be implemented, would revitalise our cityscapes. They address very human needs in a revolutionary way, offering sustainable solutions that encourage the renewal of a vibrant inner city lifestyle.

“The standard of entries makes me particularly excited about the future of South African architecture, and how it will respond to the changing needs of our society.”

All of the finalist proposals in the 2010 DesignHub Respond Renew Revitalise competition will be available on the competition’s website from 28 February 2011. The website address is www.saint-gobaindesignhub.co.za.

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