Winners in the C&CI Architectural Students Design Competition

Dirk Coetser from the University of Johannesburg was one of the winners in the C&CI Architectural Student Design Competition for his design of a sustainable community complex in Hillbrow, Johannesburg.The three winners in the Cement & Concrete Institute’s (C&CI’s) 2010 Architectural Students Design Competition are:

  • Dirk Coetser, of the University of Johannesburg, for a Sustainable Community Building in Hillbrow;
  • Danél Mentz, of Tshwane University of Technology, for a Library and Community Centre in the township of Mamelodi – the Kitsiso Library and Community Centre; and
  • Franco Enrico, of Tshwane University of Technology, for a new headquarters for the Department of Waterworks and Forestry, adjacent to the Hartbeespoort Dam.

Coetser’s design features a range of ‘green’ elements, including CO2 filters housed in concrete trusses and the use of concrete to preserve thermal energy in specific built elements.

In the design for the Kitsiso Library and Community Centre, concrete materials are widely proposed – including off-shutter concrete, self-healing concrete, and structural concrete in the bookshelf shafts and concrete service columns.

Enrico’s design incorporates the concrete dam wall which inspired the concrete-spined building.

The annual C&CI competition this year formed part of ArchitectureZA.2010 (AZA2010), a major architecture, design, and multidisciplinary cultural festival which was held in Johannesburg in September. With its themes of ‘Re-imagining the City’ and ‘Event+City’, the festival attracted some of the world’s leading architects and other design practitioners.

C&CI architect, Daniel van der Merwe says, “The purpose of the annual C&CI competition is to promote the innovative use of concrete for sustainable environments among the architects of the future. It stimulates fresh thinking that results in original and inventive design proposals; it raises awareness of critical built environment issues and questions the relevance of current strategies in dealing with such issues.”

The competition is open to students in the final year of an undergraduate architectural qualification at an accredited tertiary institution. The judging panel this year included the internationally acclaimed Professor Fernando Menis, of the University of Valencia in Spain and Dr Anton Garcia Abril, principal of Ensemble Studio in Madrid, as well as South African architects, Andrew Makin, Enrico Daffonchio, and Daniel van der Merwe.

From the entries received, six finalists were chosen before the judges decided on the winning submissions. The finalists’ projects formed the core of the C&CI’s Sustainable Design exhibition at the AZA2010 festival.

A new dimension of the competition this year was a cinematic component in the form of the ‘Moving Space’ short film competition.

Van der Merwe says, “Moving Space was introduced to generate new ways of thinking about architecture and the use of concrete in building – via moving image production. Architectural students were invited to focus a critical cinematic lens on the urban environment in the context of the broad themes of AZA2010.”

The award-winning film projects are:

  • A Procura de Pancho – from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a film about architect Pancho Guedes;
  • Pretoria Philadelphia – from the Open Window School of Visual Communication, a short film combining live action and 3D animation;
  • Time in Concrete – from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), a film about the identity of the city of Johannesburg;
  • Timmy – from UCT, a film that looks at city spaces from a new perspective;
  • Touching Benches – from Wits, a short experimental film that looks at a day in the life of a Johannesburg concrete bench; and
  • No Hands Land – the Big Fish School of Digital Film’s short film that looks at environmental structures and the workers who built them.

The winning entries in the Moving Space competition were screened at which was also staged during AZA2010.

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