NMU student scoops top architecture award

25 November 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914554

Construction, Civil & Structural Engineering
Consulting Engineers & Project Management
Education & Training
NMU student scoops top architecture award

NELSON Mandela University’s Gideon Greyvenstein was recently announced as the Eastern Cape regional winner of this year’s Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award.

He received R10 000, with Mohammad Yusuf Gopee taking home the second-prize of R8 000, and Zani Alberts receiving R6 000 for third place. A further R6 000 was awarded to Robert Duvenhage for his innovative use of clay masonry in a building design.

Corobrik Commercial Director Musa Shangase said, “As an organisation, we believe that ‘better starts here’, and this is particularly true for this award. These up-and-coming young architects are already designing iconic structures that would imprint their legacy on the country’s built environment. It is truly an honour to witness history being made.”

Greyvenstein is one of eight young architects from top South African universities receiving an award in recognition of their design talent and innovation throughout 2019. In addition to the cash prize, the regional competition winners are through to the finals of the National Architectural Student of the year Award – set to be announced in Johannesburg in May 2020 – which comes with R70 000 in prize money.

Greyvenstein’s dissertation, entitled ‘The design of a merino wool processing facility in Barkly East, Eastern Cape’ is a sustainable factory as a rural regenerative system.

The subject of this treatise is sparked by the concerning state of rural Eastern Cape agrarian towns and the lack of facilities. Some high impact programmes are needed to boost agrarian reform in an attempt to revive dying small towns.

The project aims to use a factory to restore forgotten wastelands, traditionally used as buffer zones in township communities, in the distant hinterland.

The building takes inspiration from the cultural, immediate township scale, and mountainous context to generate a unique architecture responding to the harsh climate of the highlands of South Africa.

In second place, Gopee’s design for a community sports facility in the village of Case Noyale, Mauritius emerged from concerns over the lack of sports and recreational facilities in rural areas of the Island.

Alberts’ third place thesis was entitled ‘Additions and Alterations to the Werdmuller Centre in lower Claremont, Cape Town’.

Duvenhage received the award for the best use of clay brick for his thesis, ‘The design of a plastic recycling facility in central Port Elizabeth.’

He said he selected the old WH Morgan brewery as his site because the heritage building has a unique character that has been left behind in the ever-changing city. The inspiration for the program came from a non-profit organisation that has a branch in Port Elizabeth focusing on community upliftment.

“I chose to use clay brick as this design doesn't have a high budget and in the long term would require less maintenance, making clay brick the ideal choice. The existing buildings being reused have beautiful clay brick details that I wanted to include. As recycling plays a major role in my thesis I have recycled and reused as many of the original materials as possible, and to match that, construction would have use clay brick as well,” Duvenhage added.

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