12 April 2023: Highlighting talent, creativity, innovation and inspiration, the Corobrik Student Architecture Awards is all about jump-starting careers, building the industry and designing tomorrow. The finalists are selected from the eight major universities, based on the students’ Architectural Master’s theses, from the class of 2022. The finalists each receive a R10 000 prize and the opportunity to compete for the top title, plus a R70 000 grand prize, at a live event on Tuesday 16 May 2023.
“Our relationship with the awards goes back some 36 years, and it is one that has proved very enlightening for Corobrik. It has added a lot of depth and enriched the architectural profession by allowing young up-and-coming architects to express themselves and show the kinds of directions they believe architecture should be going in,” comments Corobrik CEO Nick Booth. Since 1986, the awards have placed 35 winners on the architectural map, both in leading practices as well as their own firms.
Melicia van Loggerenberg, University of Pretoria
Melicia says she feels honoured to represent the University of Pretoria. “I would like to thank Corobrik for providing a platform to take our projects beyond our respective establishments.”
Entitled ‘Environment as a Cognitive Prosthesis’, Melicia’s mini-dissertation highlights the lack of age-inclusive interventions in public and social environments, specifically pertaining to the growing elderly demographic.
A further critique of geriatric care architecture provides insight into the gaps in the discourse of which our failure to consider cognitive dependencies is the biggest shortcoming. The results of Melicia’s research serve as a guideline for future projects advocating against ageist urban environments, contributing to a knowledge source that we will soon not be able to design without.
For online publications only: Click here to view Melicia’s project – Melicia van Loggerenberg | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Mia Pulles, University of the Witwatersrand
“Architecture not only sculpturally defines the space we occupy on this beautiful planet, but it provides people with real, tactile opportunities to adapt, grow and live,” says Mia. Entitled ‘Igniting the Heart(h) : Resuscitating the Heritage of the Melville Koppies through Earth and Fire Craft Production’, Mia’s project engages with the conservation and resuscitation of the Melville Koppies site in Johannesburg.
It celebrates its ancient, richly-layered heritage with the design of a living museum, an artisanal pottery-making and iron-forging production space – crafts both deeply embedded in the site’s untold history.
For online publications only: Click here to view Mia’s project – Mia Pulles | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Katherine van Wyngaarden, University of Cape Town
“I am grateful to be part of this group with peers from across the country and to be given the chance to engage with their explorations,” says Katherine. She believes that architecture creates a sense of belonging, encourages interaction and provokes emotion.
Entitled ‘Playful architecture – Constructing Sociality’, her project explores themes of playful architecture and how activated, adaptable and dynamic spaces are created by embracing the inherent instability of social space. The project is situated within an imagined future fabric of District 6 in Cape Town, on a site with existing activities to be plugged into and reinforced.
For online publications only: Click here to view Katherine’s project – Katherine van Wyngaarden | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Ané Meyer, University of the Free State
“It actually still does not feel real,” comments Ané on being a regional winner. “I am extremely excited for the journey ahead and look forward to meeting so many great upcoming architects.”
Ané says architecture provides a deeper understanding of how design can create innovative solutions that impact communities and the environment. Her thesis is entitled ‘Ephemeral Skin: Towards a Reparational, Relational, and Respectful Engagement with the Temporal Environment’.
The design of an algae research and manufacturing institute at Hartbeespoort Dam focuses on permanence and temporality in nature and the built form, growing and decaying with the landscape. The building will partly disappear over time, leaving a public park after the threat posed by hazardous algae blooms and the subsequent need for algae research is no longer dominant.
For online publications only: Click here to view Ané’s project – Ané Meyer | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Luzuko Funda, Nelson Mandela University
Luzuko says the Corobrik Student Architecture Awards is a diverse representation of architecture in South Africa, with past winners setting a trend for innovation. “I am honoured to be a finalist, as I strive to make architecture accessible to all. I feel like I am already an inspiration for the next generation.”
Luzuko’s project, ‘The Design of Buildings for the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Fort Hare in East London’, aims to revitalise the city surrounding the campus. It creates an ‘edge building’ that interacts with the public realm, while slightly touching the natural landscape to preserve the natural edge.
The technical design looks at adapting the existing Old Miriam Makeba building on the site and using of modular systems as an architectural expression to create a sustainable building that fits the context.
For online publications only: Click here to view Luzuko’s project – Luzuko Funda | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Kreolin Lyle Naicker, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Kreolin says being a regional winner is “a proud moment in my life and makes me proud of the work I produced. I would like to thank Corobrik for allowing students to showcase their architectural designs and recognising their hard work throughout the year.”
Kreolin’s research, ‘An Exploration of Water Security through Architecture: Towards a Learning Centre in Durban’, aims to change our perception of water by means of a multi-sensory experience of the treatment process. The built and natural environment becomes a living system that demonstrates the water-cleaning process through an outdoor park with various bio-retention systems, allowing visitors to “(re)connect with nature”.
The design encapsulates a strong axis from the entrance to the harbour, with adjoining interactive learning spaces and seating areas to attract visitors, forming active and informal learning environments.
For online publications only: Click here to view Kreolin Lyle’s project – Kreolin Lyle Naicker | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Cindy Langa, University of Johannesburg
“I never imagined I would be in the running, let alone a finalist!” says Cindy. “I am happy about the platform Corobrik has provided to showcase my work.” Cindy has an abiding interest in public spaces, “the who, why, when and how public spaces have changed over time, especially given the history of South Africa.”
Her project, ‘Broken Narratives and Blurred Recollections: [Re]Constructing Sharpeville’s Broken Memorial Landscape’, critiques the memorialisation of the Sharpeville massacre. “It proves how the memory of the massacre has been vandalised – narratively and physically – pre- and post-democracy. I argue that the blatant erasure of these narratives is an act of violence against the victims, and the surviving community of Sharpeville,” says Cindy.
For online publications only: Click here to view Cindy’s project – Cindy Langa | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
Francois Luc Groenewald, Tshwane University of Technology
Having his research recognised by his peers, lecturers and Corobrik “is truly an honour, and having the opportunity to share it publicly is more than the heart of any designer can dream for,” says Francois.
He says that “the idea of commemoration in South Africa is probably one of the most special areas that architectural research design can poke its nose into.” Entitled ‘The Design of an Exploratorium at the Swartkop Air Force Base, Valhalla, South Africa’, sheds light on the unrecognised and forgotten narratives of our aviation history.
The thesis reconstructs and reactivates a pre-apartheid, post-WW1 conservation site dedicated for aviation commemoration into an appropriate architectural solution by rescripting the programme, use and aviation heritage resources.
For online publications only: Click here to view Francois Luc’s project – Francois Luc Groenewald | Finalist 2022 (corobrik.co.za)
“We are very excited to celebrate the 36th edition of the awards. It has been an incredibly exciting and richly fulfilling journey,” highlights Corobrik Marketing Support Manager Thilo Sidambaram, who herself has been involved with the awards for over two decades.
To view the winning regional projects and to watch the LIVE Awards on the 16th of May visit: www.studentawards.corobrik.co.za.
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