In its fifth year, the competition focused on ‘Respond Renew Revitalise’, challenging students to investigate an existing multi-storey, multi-use building in their city and to submit a proposal for its revitalisation, giving particular consideration to energy efficiency, sustainability, socio-political implications, and the original design.
The challenge was included in the syllabus for fourth-year students of architecture at the University of the Free State , the University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. External mentors volunteered to guide the students and give them insights into the practical issues of architecture, while Saint-Gobain’s Technical and Specifications team offered on-call advice about energy efficiency in the built environment.
Temba Jauch from UCT won the cash prize for making the best use of Saint-Gobain’s Gyproc, Isover and Weber products in his proposal to revitalise the derelict Athlone Power Station. From the judging panel, Kim Fairbairn of Fairbairn Architecture said, “The degree of critical engagement shown by Temba – from macro to micro details – was creative at every level.”
His mentor, Rod Lloyd, also received a prize for the guidance he offered in working with Temba and the keen awareness he showed of the wide range of issues surrounding this site and its importance in the city of Cape Town.
Jankel Nieuwoudt from the University of Pretoria (UP) won the cash prize for the proposal that demonstrated the highest level of sustainability and compliance with the energy efficiency standards set out in SANS 204. His proposal, entitled ‘Serving the City: The Carlton as mechanism for change in urban Johannesburg’, showed an innovative approach to all the issues affecting this troubled site in central Johannesburg.
Piet Vosloo of UP received the prize for the best lecturer participating in the DesignHub competition and the team at the Department of Architecture at UP was recognised as the best in the competition, in acknowledgement of the outstanding level of entries from all participating students from the university. The department won a substantial cash prize in recognition of its excellence.
Lisa Reynolds, technical and specifications director at Saint-Gobain South Africa, said, “Each year we are impressed by the standard of submissions for the competition. This year, the students exceeded our expectations again, with carefully considered, innovative solutions that – if they were to be implemented – would revitalise our cityscapes. They address very human needs in a revolutionary way, offering sustainable solutions that encourage the renewal of a vibrant inner city lifestyle. The standard of entries makes me particularly excited about the future of South African architecture and how architects will respond to the changing needs of our society.”