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Tuesday, 06 December 2016 10:24

The 2016/2017 PPC Imaginarium Awards assembles a formidable panel of judges.

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The PPC Imaginarium Awards was established by PPC Ltd as a means to give emerging designers and artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and creative thinking by using cement as their primary medium. Now in its third year, the competition is the most supportive of its kind in the country and has seen many of its past entrants and finalists go on to become recognised in the art and business community.

The PPC Imaginarium encompasses six categories, namely, architecture, fashion, film, industrial design, jewellery and sculpture. This year, the competition has assembled an extraordinary group of some of the industry’s most influential and outstanding creatives on the national and regional judging panel, who will evaluate the various category submissions, choose category finalists and the overall winner.

Fashion and design consultant Allana Finely, will fill the role of judging the fashion category and that of national judge. Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US, Finley has worked on fashion brands such as Eileen Fisher, Tiffany & Co. and Gucci America, and is currently a board member of the Museum of African Design. Over the past 13 years, her focus has been on telling the story of the African continent in innovative ways through fashion, design, television and film production. Joining her on the national judging panel is architect Daniel van der Merwe and curator Stephen Hobbs.

The film category panel sees the return of award-winning filmmaker Wessel van Huyssteen as a judge. Over the past 11 years, Van Huyssteen has conceptualised, proposed, produced and directed scores of inserts for various programmes broadcast on SABC, and M-Net.

Joining him on the film judging panel is award-winning filmmaker Rethabile Molatela, who produces and directs films for Rififi Pictures. Molatela has just produced her first feature film, Vaya, which was directed by acclaimed actor and director Akin Omotoso and screened at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival.

Other notable artists and industry experts on the judging panel include award-winning artist Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi who serves as a member of the board of trustees at Greatmore Studios, an art studio in Cape Town which serves as a creative hub for artists; Igsaan Martin, a director of the world-renowned contemporary art gallery, Gallery MOMO Cape Town; Tshwane University of Technology Art Theory lecturer Pfunzo Sidogi; University of the Free State Fine Arts lecturer Adelheid von Maltitz; painter, sculptor and a graphic artist Thami Jali and art curator Zanele Mashumi.

The judging process consists of three phases. The first phase is based on entrants’ written conceptual proposals to determine who makes it to the production phase. The second phase of judging, in which regional judging takes place and finalists are chosen, will be based on physical submissions. The finalists will then be judged in the third and final phase at the national level.

The winner of each category will receive a cash prize of R50 000, with runners-up walking away with R15 000. The overall PPC Imaginarium Awards winner will receive the grand prize of R100 000.

The category winners and overall competition winner announcement will take place at the Association of Arts Pretoria on 11 March 2017.

For more information about the competition and the judges, visit the PPC Imaginarium Awards website at 

Read 494 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 11:41

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  • Awarded Projects in the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation Announced

    Seven Awards and four Commended projects were announced in the 2015/2016 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation at the gala event in Cape Town tonight.

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    The increasing importance of sustainable and innovative design practice in the South African built environment was confirmed across all four categories of the 2015/2016 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation.

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    1)         DEA Building (Pretoria, Gauteng) - AWARDED

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    The award to the Department of Environmental Affairs in the City of Tshwane, is based on the importance of a structure which reflects the culture of the Department, the way it works and functions and what they stand for in terms of purpose, beliefs and service to the country and the community. The project also boasts a 6 star green office v1 design rating. The design responds to an environmentally sensitive and sustainable architecture that is equally respected by international dignitaries, visitors and tourists but above all is a home for the Department to be proud of and to remain memorable and inspiring for generations to come. The land parcel shape, orientation and topography provided the opportunity to link a series of large, effective office wings along a North - South central spine, enabling the building to centralise the support services along the spine and to keep the floor plates as open and multifunctional as possible. The orientation of the wings allowed for green spaces between the wings as well as allowing sunlight into the wings. The building hosts an array of sustainable technologies from; rainwater and greywater harvesting and recycling to double glazed windows, evaporative cooling methods for air conditioning, photovoltaic cells, solar hot water heating on the rooftop, east/west orientation and a highly developed building envelope insulation design.

    2)         Gorgeous Green House (Durban, KwaZulu Natal) - AWARDED

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    A Client driven green research project, The Gorgeous Green House encapsulates all green and eco gadgetry there is within the market. This project shows just how strong the Client's voice was with decision making on a sustainable level. Special thought, consideration and research by the Client allowed the design of the house to incorporate many sustainable features from rooftop gardens, green walls, evaporative cooling ponds, water harvesting, storage and recycling, and solar energy, to name a few. The property also incorporates sustainable and environmentally friendly materials from bamboo, recycled carpets and kitchen countertops. It also boasts an incredibly integrated eco-system of bee hives, kitchens, veggie garden and a natural swimming pool with fish, all of which attract over 40 species of birds, insects and wildlife to the property. This house is the 'poster-child' for sustainable green living.

    3)         Oudebosch Camp Kogelberg (Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, Western Cape) -


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    Kogelberg is tucked away in the mountains above Betty’s Bay, within a protected wilderness area in the Kogelberg Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This breathtaking biodiversity hotspot is of extremely high conservation value. It is known as the “Heart of the Fynbos”. A rugged and ancient landscape, a wilderness of jagged, folded mountain peaks which cradles streams and rivers with wetlands that criss-cross the faulted landscape creating a myriad of habitats for the 1650 fynbos species. A careful path to crafting a sustainable, environmentally responsive and low impact strategy for settlement evolved which was nurtured by the think tank multi-disciplinary team that mined and mapped, unravelled, uncovered and unpicked the secrets of the site ecology. Thus began a ‘hands on’ iterative journey to build a vision and grow the buildings from the seeds of understanding the site. The buildings are modestly scaled, lightweight, stilted, basket like, with planted roofs set on banded stone bases. These simple structured shelters reflect the natural qualities of the landscape. Hovering decks, terraced ground and large slide-away openings allow spaces to grasp and touch the mountainscape lightly. The palette of natural, local, renewable, low embodied energy, non toxic materials and components develops the low impact sustainable qualities of the project. Low tech simple passive design principles underpin the crafting of the building envelope which is shaped for the shifting seasons. Open structures breath crisp mountain air and bask in natural light.

    4)         iCat Eco Factory (Pretoria, Gauteng) - COMMENDED

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    Sustainable design begins long before the first foundation is cast or brick is laid. It begins in the symbiosis between the visions of the Client and the Architect. This was the case for the iCat Eco Factory. The programme was focused on housing both the administrative, as well as production functions of the company, merging the corporate headquarters with the warehouse space allowing for an environmentally sustainable structure. This served to further minimise travel distance and as a duplication of costs, buildings, footprint and staff as well as other assets created through running multiple functions simultaneously. The design was greatly influenced by seasonal changes in lighting and climate, meaning that every facade of the building responded accordingly. An equilibrium was struck between natural and artificial light, while minimising the latter. The site lent itself well to this approach, allowing the warehouse to shade the offices from the direct western sun, a southern courtyard to serve as a social activation space and the northern facade to allow for lighting into the offices and warehouse, as well as heating during winter months. From the roof, much of the building's water and energy requirements are provided for through rainwater and solar energy harvesting. There is an array of PV Panels along with a 40 000ℓ water harvesting tank buried below the courtyard. These systems were implemented to make a difference both ecologically and economically.

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    6)         Outreach Foundation Community Centre (Johannesburg, Gauteng) - COMMENDED

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    7)         WWF SA Braamfontein (Braamfontein, Gauteng) - COMMENDED

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    The WWF building in Braamfontein, the first 6-Star GBCSA Design Rating on a brownfields site in South Africa, was a restorative project in a heritage building dating back to 1905. The primary focus of the design of the building was centered on the maximisation of the site parameters whilst recycling most of the existing materials within the site and showcasing the raw aspects of the original building by leaving selected walls unfinished in the original brickwork.

    The building, which enforces the WWF sustainable ethos, seriously implements green technologies. Features of the building include a wastewater treatment plant, water harvesting, natural ventilation to all office areas with additional forced air changes and no air-conditioning, double glazed fenestration, automated blinds and LED lighting linked to a building management system. It also features a solar geyser for the shower and kitchen areas, reclaimed/re-used materials for building and furniture items, the inclusion of bicycle racks, the exposure of base materials to allow for building thermal activation and the use of recycled materials for the construction of the concrete slabs within the building.


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    "Designing for Hope represents a timely, important and necessary contribution to the literature that provides a powerful characterization of current and alternative world views. It also offers a

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    This publication is the result of a research collaboration between the University of Pretoria and University of Melbourne with the aim of bringing together the theory and practice of an emerging regenerative design and development paradigm. It captures the learning from an extensive literature review and over 50 interviews with practitioners and academics from across the world to present a number of theoretical approaches, supported by case studies, that describe working from an ecological paradigm in the built environment.


    9)         Otto Cottage (Maun, Botswana) - AWARDED

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    This is a small house in Maun, Botswana, made of natural materials comprising rammed earth, timber and locally harvested reeds, demonstrating what can be achieved with natural materials in harmony with the environment, while being beautifully seductive. By using forms similar to those prevalent in the area, it draws a deliberate link to them and, by reinventing traditional building materials, it points to a sustainable future building technology. The project minimised its impact both in its construction with the extensive use of local and natural materials, and its ecological approach to its use being energy, water and waste neutral. It used local site earth for the rammed earth - the house is not connected to either the local electricity grid or the municipal water and sewerage systems, making it 100% off the grid. The entire construction and implementation of green technologies was done with the transfer of knowledge from the architect to the local team of builders. Emphasis was achieved by training the unskilled labourers within specific trades as well as the installation and construction phases of the rammed earth, solar installation, biological sewerage and water purification and permaculture of the site.


    10)       Bridgingmzamba (Mbizana, Eastern Cape) - AWARDED

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    The community driven project, ´bridgingMzamba`, originated in the urgent need of and

    requests by surrounding inhabitants for a safe crossing of the Mzamba River. This included the

    design and implementation of a 140 meter long suspension bridge in a collaborative manner. Design and technology were guided by the reduction of environmental impact, available resources, the use of laypersons and the fact that the construction site was difficult to access. The Mzamba Bridge is now connecting residents of a catchment area of approximately 30km to necessary infrastructure such as educational facilities, health care, jobs and general food supplies. Further, it serves as a landmark and potential tourist attraction in the area to enable socio-economic development.

    11)       Malawi School (Mchinji, Malawi) - AWARDED

    Architecture for a Change

    The design explores the possibility of the School as a covered canopy. It offers a larger covered area that provides shade, open, well-lit and ventilated spaces and becomes a visual icon for the community. Shade netting, lightweight steel, local masonry and corrugated iron form the architectural language of the building. The masonry, handmade by local woman on the site, is used to create brise soleil on the exterior of the classrooms to act as shading devices and structural support for the roof. The use of refurbished shipping containers, implemented for their structural stability, have a dual function. Firstly they are transportable elements, and secondly, they are used as a shell and anchor for the new structures. By utilizing locally manufactured materials, it provided the community with a sense of ownership and allows for the integration of the container as a foreign contextual element. The function of the building is not limited to a school but doubles as a community gathering space where local events are held and revenue is made, allowing the school to sustain itself economically. 

  • The winners of the 2014 AfriSam-SAIA Sustainability Awards

    The prestigious bi-annual AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture was first introduced in 2009 and recognises outstanding achievement in sustainable architecture as well as creating public awareness and debate on architectural issues. There are two entry categories - one for built work and the other for works of social importance, including research. Entries are evaluated against a range of criteria including people upliftment and planet rejuvenation.  

    Concrete.TV was on hand to film the event and the winners - and at the same had an exclusive interview with Dr Stephan Olivier, CEO of AfriSam.

    The Alexander Forbes Headquarters in Sandton, Johannesburg, designed by Paragon Architects and Paragon Interface, took top honours in the built work category at the 2014 AfriSam-South African Institute of Architects Award for Sustainable Architecture, announced on 9 October at Johannesburg City Library.

     “In acknowledging this building as the recipient of the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture for 2014 in the built category, it is hoped that the Alexander Forbes Headquarters will provide a beacon of inspiration, not only as a place to work, but also as a worthwhile contribution to the urban fabric of Johannesburg and human experience in the area,” said Stephan Olivier, AfriSam’s CEO.

    Commendations in this category went to a further four projects; UNISA Phase 2 in Parow, Cape Town, designed by Michele Sandilands Architects; the Seed Library in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, designed by Architects of Justice; Monaghan Farm near Lanseria, Gauteng, submitted by Claude Bailey Architecture & Design on behalf of Clewer Development Trust, and House Jones in Hurlingham, Johannesburg, designed by ERA Architects.

    A second award, in the category of works of social importance, including research, went to Vukuzakhe by Koop Design in Durban, which examines urban development in the Municipality of eThekwini, while Collis & Associates received a commendation for research into concrete recycling in Cape Town.

    Employing a total of 2,500 people, the Alexander Forbes Headquarters has already been confirmed as a Four Star Rated Green Building. Occupied for two years, the accommodation impact was designed to reduce any negative impact on water, energy and waste. Reduced power consumption, re-use of water and recycling initiatives have contributed to lower water consumption by 70%, waste generation by 50% and energy consumption by 40%. The role of louvres, skylights, glazing and scallops assists with light whilst reducing the impact of heat and, at street level, the building edge is softened with xeriscaping, indigenous trees and plants.

    Vukuzakhe by Durban’s Koop Design, which took the AfriSam-SAIA Award in the research category, acknowledges the rapid urbanisation taking place in Durban, common to most cities in the developing world. The study also understands the need for harmonisation across a series of approaches to solve the challenges that are faced, including social interaction with communities, combined with infrastructure development by local authorities.

    “Vukuzakhe is a brave attempt to record, evaluate and propose systems for urban construction in South Africa. The litmus test remains for the document to be implemented and robustly challenged which, if successful, could offer realistic opportunities for urban development in South Africa,” said Olivier.

    In commending the UNISA Phase 2 building by Michele Sandilands Architects, the jurors particularly noted that, although the building is located in an industrial area, the architecture uplifts an otherwise dispirited part of Cape Town. The building reflects its workings - rainwater tanks and wind towers become powerful elements of the architecture and draw the visitor’s eye to their function, while intriguing attention to detail has been included around lecture room entrances and bathrooms.

    Commented Sindile Ngonyama, President of SAIA and chair of the adjudicators panel, “In celebrating this building, the awards programme hopes to draw attention to the powerful impact that educational buildings can have on our society. UNISA Phase 2 reveals a thoroughness by the architects and an indication that the joy of architecture need not be compromised in the pursuit of responsible design.”

    Architects of Justice confronted a different aspect of sustainable architecture – one beyond construction - when asked to design library facilities for a school in Alexandra, Johannesburg. Their solution, the Seed Library, is an intervention that addresses the wholesale recycling of buildings in society and offers a possible prototype using shipping containers. This commended project may also be adapted in other contexts across South Africa where similar conditions exist.

    “A facility for children, which by virtue of its function offers an opportunity for insouciance and colour, the Seed Library explores the balance between providing much needed facilities and investigating other avenues of architecture which recognise that, sometimes, not building more may be the best solution,” said Ngonyama.

    A lifestyle estate of about 500 hectares immediately north of Lanseria, Monaghan Farm, submitted by Claude Bailey Architecture & Design on behalf of Clewer Development Trust, is a gated community based on food security which is aligned to nature conservation rather than golf-estate principles. In contributing to the sustainability of the community, the approach is wide ranging, from exploring alternative architectural principles, building methods, house services and animal husbandry. The project offers a thorough and comprehensive investigation of alternatives that exist to the status quo of contemporary urban living. While it could be countered that the proposal is exclusive, there are many principles offered that can be considered for broader adaptation.

    Commenting on this commended project, Olivier said, “Monaghan Farm speaks to societal issues and explores a unique opportunity in an anthropologically sensitive area. It is celebrated for its ability to analyse an existing situation and offer a variety of solutions for sustainable lifestyles, while still keeping close to a suburban experience.”

    The fourth commended project in the 2014 AfriSam-SAIA Award is House Jones, located in Hurlingham, Johannesburg and designed by ERA Architects. It has a multitude of systems to generate and store energy, save water and reduce waste, which make it possible for the house to exist entirely off any municipal grid. Beyond the architecture, this project has been extended into a small wetland which greatly enhances the site. In addition to the facilities offered, a rigorous programme of recording data is in place, allowing for analysis which will provide valuable information for future developments in housing.

    “The determination of the owner of this house to free his family from the vagaries of local authority energy and water supplies resulted in a building whose equipment may be unattainable to most, but offers empirical solutions, in part to all,” said Ngonyama. “House Jones should be lauded for standing up and being counted and the passage of time will evaluate its contribution to alternatives in this era of over-consumption.”

    Commended for his study of concrete recycling in the Western Cape, the jurors noted how Vernon Collis of Collis & Associates combines a passion for the subject of concrete recycling, a record of the dire sand shortage in the Western Cape, and possible solutions for this situation. His submission reveals the breadth and depth that needs to be explored in the subject of sustainable architecture, from testing a client brief, to accommodation schedules, architectural design and materials.

    Commented AfriSam’s Olivier, “The subject of materials and their various impacts on the earth is hotly contested by individual industries, so rigorous independent research is welcomed. The author has also extended this research into local universities so that students can benefit from his endeavours and includes CPD training for fellow professionals.”

    Joining Ngonyama on the adjudicators panel for this year’s awards were Gita Goven, one of South Africa’s foremost sustainability thinkers, Llewellyn van Wyk, principal researcher in the built environment at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Daniel K. Irurah, senior lecturer at Wits University, Philippa Tumubweinee, senior lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the University of the Free State, Vincent Blackbeard and AfriSam’s Mike McDonald.

    This year, for the first time, the AfriSam-SAIA Award has mounted an exhibition to showcase both the winning projects and finalists, which includes a curated educational programme. The exhibition, which runs from 10 – 30 October at the newly renovated Johannesburg City Library, is also free to the public during the library’s normal opening hours.

    Sponsored by AfriSam, Grade 6 and 7 learners from across Johannesburg have been invited to participate in an interactive session of exploration, designed to highlight the importance of sustainability and how it affects their personal lives. Sessions comprise a hands-on workshop with interactive activities and take-home crafts and include a walkabout of the exhibition to illustrate the concepts learnt in each workshop.

    The exhibition has been designed to take into account its location and to reflect the underlying ethos of the awards and is constructed entirely out of paper and cardboard, including Rebul modular packaging, originally designed to protect fragile goods. Set against the backdrop of the historic library, the design elements become a miniature city-scape within the building, complemented by living green walls and a range of trees laser cut from second hand books. All design elements for the exhibition are 100% recyclable.

    The two-hour educational sessions will be hosted twice per morning at Johannesburg City Library, from Monday 13 October to Thursday 30 October, at 9:00am and 11:30am respectively. Each session can accommodate 30 - 40 learners. For bookings, on a first-come, first-served basis, please contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The exhibition is open to the public from Friday, 10 October to Thursday, 30 October during Johannesburg City Library’s normal opening hours, Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 1pm.

    Films on all fifteen finalists in the 2014 Award can be seen at

    Filmed and produced by: www.Concrete.TV
    Edited by Adrienne Taylor
    Twitter: @_concretetv
    www.Concrete.TV – a dynamic blend of broadcast style television and WebTV, covering: news, projects, products, people, countries and events for the concrete and construction industry.
    [The winners of the 2014 AfriSam-SAIA Sustainability Awards [architecture]]

  • World Bank - moladi invited to Washington

    "Housing For All" - International Finance Corporation

    The World Bank Group will hold its 6th Global Housing Finance Conference in Washington, DC, on May 28-29, 2014. Jointly hosted by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, the underlying theme of the conference is on how to expand affordable housing for all. We will explore and showcase new and innovative ideas on how to construct affordable housing development and how to ensure homeowners can access adequate finance to meet their housing needs.


    We are very honoured to have been invited to present moladi at the Housing Technologies and Sustainable Materials Session, which is currently scheduled for May 29 at 2.00pm. The objective of this session is that all participants can be aware of the available housing technology options for specific markets, and identify specific construction technologies most relevant to the conference theme "Housing For All”.


    With the motto “Train the unemployed to build for the homeless” moladi combines construction with economic development to bring about change, develop skills and establish entrepreneurs. For more information - Social Innovation for the Bottom of the Pyramid

    “Train the unemployed to build for the homeless – Fight poverty unemployment and crime through housing”


  • A R1.62 Million Better Living Challenge

    The central theme for the WDC2014 in Cape Town is “Live Design. Transform Life”. This theme challenges all designers, creators, inventors, manufacturers, retailers, professionals and students for sustainable design ideas. It’s a challenge to improve living conditions in low-income households with an incentive of R1.62 million in prizes. The challenge consists of structural, comfortable and connected categories. Each category’s winners will each win R500 000 worth of support, to bring their project to reality. The competition closes on the 31 May 2014.  

    Click here to read the full article. 

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