Urban informality as a generator for meaningful built form wins Mongezi Ncube a place in the Corobrik Architectural Student of the year Awards.

As the impact of climate change continues to be felt, there is an increasing need for responsible corporate citizens, not only to adopt environmentally responsible practices, but to promote the concept of sustainable development as widely as possible.

Achieving sustainability is well entrenched in Corobrik’s corporate culture which goes far beyond its mission to supply durable clay bricks and pavers of the finest quality to the Southern African construction industry.  The company is committed to playing its part to using resources efficiently and slowing the pace of climate change while embracing the other pillars necessary for a sustainable future.

Corobrik’s Mike Ingram said that Corobrik had for many years considered the architectural community crucial in the process of providing sustainable development which was why the company has been a sponsor of the Architectural Student of the Year Awards since it’s inception 27 years ago.

He was presenting prizes to the winning students from the KwaZulu-Natal region at the KZN Institute of Architects.

“These annual awards aim to promote and reward design excellence amongst students whilst encouraging a broadening in understanding of the environmental issues and their resolution. Through discourse around thesis projects design paradigms are inevitably challenged and new design ideas evolve giving depth to architectural resolution while  building technical skills sets required by architects of the future.”

Mongezi Ncube was the regional winner of R8000, Craig Cullen was awarded second prize of R6000.

“The talented students who have received prizes today have demonstrated that they have taken on board their far-reaching responsibilities and have excelled themselves in their design projects,” Ingram said.

Mongezi Ncube’s thesis is a ‘Multi-Purpose Trade Hub for Warwick, Durban’.

The design is a multipurpose trade hub that provided appropriate and meaningful infrastructure for the people of Warwick, Durban. The building’s primary function is to act as a support structure for informal traders that need productive space to facilitate their informal trade. The building is configured in such a way that almost any form of informal trade can be facilitated in the building directly from the street. The  aim of this design was to provide a built environment that occupants could define in its configuration by letting them make crucial decision of how they want their built environment to be defined. This was done through consultation with all of the relevant stakeholders and actively engaging some of the informal traders of Warwick, with the help of Asiye eTafuleni, to find out what they need in their built environment.

Second placed Craig Cullen proposed a Multi-Modal Public Transport Terminal.  In his thesis he used connection modelling as a mechanism for addressing social inequality in Durban’s Peri-Urban Built Environment.

He says that whilst much has been done to try to address the old apartheid urban planning divisions, there is still social inequality and tension that exists on the thresholds of where many informal settlements meet the more upmarket residential areas.

The project looks at ways in which public transport, and in particular public transport terminal buildings, might bridge these community divisions and offers a new vibrant architectural language that begins in the communities themselves.

The aim is to create an architectural model that allows people from different social and economic backgrounds to re-connect across highways and railway lines in a new dynamic and innovative social setting.

The national winner, to be chosen from the eight regional winners, will be announced and presented with a certificate and cheque for R50 000 at the 27th National Architectural Student awards function in Johannesburg in April 2014.

“Architectural students need to be aware of how easy it is to achieve sustainable and energy efficient architecture with clay brick and of course the new technologies that are being continuously developed and able to mitigate the impacts of built structures on the environment so that these can be incorporated seamlessly into their designs going forward,” says Ingram.

, , , , , , , ,