Corobrik believe that social complexities of a developing country cannot be ignored when blending all the ingredients that go towards achieving world class architectural design that has a sense of place and is relevant to its environment. In innovation is essential for modern architects as they employ their technical skills to create aesthetically appealing and functional built structures that will endure in the future.
Corobrik Commercial Director Musa Shangase says that in the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year regional events that Corobrik expects new and distinctive ideas from students. In addition, a high standard of technical skills, creative flair, a good grasp of sustainability issues and a clear understanding of the role a built structure is expected to fulfil in its environment.
Yvonne Bruinette of the University of Pretoria, was named the regional winner and received a prize of R8 500, Ryan Taylor won second prize of R6 500, while Abigail Barnard received the third prize of R4 500. A R4 500 prize for the best use of clay masonry was also presented to Michelle Whitaker
Yvonne Bruinette’s winning thesis is entitled. ‘The Heritage Portal: an Experiential Narrative’ based at Westfort in Pretoria.
Yvonne Bruinette said, “It is my belief that the greater purpose of architecture is to design for the human experience. Yet, one of the biggest challenges perhaps, is to accommodates change.”
With an interest in how architecture adapts over time, her dissertation is a response to the on-going process of ruination and isolation within highly contested continuums of change.
The site, Westfort is situated in the western outskirts of Pretoria. Just before the outbreak of WW2, the fort was dismantled, stripped for its steel and fell into ruin. The site also includes the former Westfort Leper Institution which since its closure in 1997, has been illegally occupied by informal settlers. Today, it still functions as a segregated community and together with the Fort, illustrates the consequences of ruination and isolation over time.
Since its closure in 1997, informal settlers illegally occupied the buildings and adapted the site to accommodate their needs. It functions as a self-sustaining village and together with the Fort, illustrates the consequences of ruination and isolation over time.
Bruinette proposes a Heritage Portal that will act as the mediator in celebrating the continuity of a collective and continuous South African heritage. The intention of the project is to protect the heritage significance of the Westfort precinct, secure its future value, and introduce continuity through experiential architecture.
In second place Ryan Taylor’s thesis is entitled ‘Celebrating the unseen’ - A sustainable thesis at Hartbeespoort Dam.
Abigail Barnard received third place for her entry. ‘The Scientist’, which is a knowledge centre at the Cradle of Humankind.
Best use of clay masonry is awarded to Michelle Whitaker for ‘Re-Imagining Primary Healthcare Provision in South Africa’ situated in Moreleta Park, Pretoria East.
This dissertation highlights the disparities that between public and private healthcare delivery sectors in South Africa. It proposes an alternative approach to primary healthcare provision, which considers a preventative take on healthcare provision as opposed to a curative approach and explores the potential of architecture in assisting in the healing process.
The use of brick as the main construction material was considered for its affordability, durability and haptic and tactile qualities in the mental and emotional wellbeing of the users of the facility.
Musa Shangase said that clay brick masonry brought a myriad of benefits to a building project including low maintenance, durability, long-term life performance and energy efficiency, reducing the heating and cooling costs of buildings, along with providing a healthy and comfortable living environment.
He said that another major advantage of clay brick was its capacity for both recycling and reuse which was the case during the rejuvenation of an Amafa heritage site, where a combination of bricks from the demolished sections were used along with carefully selected new Corobrik bricks to blend the old and new buildings seamlessly.
“Clay brick’s versatility and aesthetic qualities make it ideal to enhance and harmonise with any environment for ultra-modern projects as well as the sensitive renovations of landmark period buildings,” concluded Shangase