keyboard_arrow_upLeading the way in sustainable architecture
keyboard_arrow_downLeading the way in sustainable architecture

The AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture, initiated in 2009, seeks to identify and honour outstanding South African architectural projects that reflect sustainable outcomes. This year, following a vigorous adjudication phase, 12 qualifying entries have been announced for the 2011/12 awards programme.  The entries will be exhibited at the South African Institute of Architects Architecture ZA 2012 Biennale, to be hosted by the Cape Institute for Architecture in September, in the run-up to the announcement of the award-winning projects in October.  Entries for the 2011/12 AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture were submitted under two categories – one for built work that has been beneficially occupied since 15 March 2011 and the other for works of social importance, including research. 

keyboard_arrow_upSustainability week – connecting the dots
keyboard_arrow_downSustainability week – connecting the dots

Sustainability Week is scheduled to run 25 to 29 July 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg and will include a series of conferencing activities as well as an exhibition.  The event is based on the premise that appropriate responses to the current global crises need to take account of the interconnectedness of these issues. Climate change, oil/energy security, food security, waste generation, water and soil degradation, the destruction of habitat and the extinction of species, and now the financial crisis too, all impact on each other directly or indirectly. Understanding this interconnectedness is fundamental to understanding the true cost of our actions.  In this context, Sustainability Week aims to identify opportunities for change that recognise the ‘full picture’. Taking a broad view and engaging on specific issues, it will look at ways to make our economy and society more sustainable and resilient to external shocks – such as drought, extreme weather conditions, runaway oil prices and others.

keyboard_arrow_upDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town winner
keyboard_arrow_downDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town winner

The winner of the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (DBUAA) Cape Town 2012 is Mothers Unite from Lavender Hill. Chosen by an independent jury from a pool of 254 entries and a shortlist of eight finalists, the project will receive a prize of R750 000.  The winning project – selected as that which most benefitted local residents through an improved urban environment – was founded in 2007 in a mother’s home. Mothers Unite provides a safe haven from the gangsterism, drugs and violence that are part and parcel of street and home life in the area. Three afternoons a week, in a ‘village’ in the grounds of the City’s Seawinds multipurpose hall, 120 children between the ages of 3 and 15 are provided with alternative activities such as storytelling, computer literacy, food garden training, art therapy, sports and play. Built with donated shipping containers, the village is made up of a library, kitchen, office, sheltered area, playground and food garden. The Mothers Unite project addresses the family unit and encourages family participation and a shared commitment to community development, providing a support base for the family and a safe place for children to play, explore and develop.

keyboard_arrow_upFinalists for the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award 2012
keyboard_arrow_downFinalists for the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award 2012

Cape Town, home to almost 4 million people, is a highly differentiated city, filled with almost endless promise but also undermined by various constraints and pressures. The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award, which is located in Cape Town this year, has attracted 254 entries, the highest number since the award was initiated five years ago in Mumbai, India, and through its subsequent travels to Sao Paolo in Brazil, Istanbul in Turkey, and Mexico City.  The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to the problems – and opportunities – that city dwellers face. It offers a prize of R750 000 for the winning project.

keyboard_arrow_upDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town entries
keyboard_arrow_downDeutsche Bank Urban Age Award Cape Town entries

The fifth Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (DBUAA) – in Cape Town this year – has received the highest number of submissions – 254 – since the award programme was established in 2007.  The submissions reflect the vibrancy and creativity of Cape Town’s citizens in tackling the social and urban challenges of their city. From a range of social and geographical backgrounds, the projects indicate that strong and diverse alliances are being built to improve the urban environment and quality of life. The support of universities, local authorities and government programmes and the cooperation of different community organisations have been important factors in the success of the projects.  The Cape Town projects are generally of a high quality and range across categories such as education, culture, environment, sanitation, public space, local economies and social integration.

keyboard_arrow_upCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award
keyboard_arrow_downCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award

Another win for Cape Town – alongside its recent successful World Design Capital 2014 bid – is its selection as the city to receive the fifth Deutsche Bank Urban Age.  The Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to problems and opportunities that face more than half the world’s population now living in cities. The award focuses on projects that benefit communities and local residents by improving their urban environments. It seeks to encourage citizens, policy-makers, private business and non-governmental organisations to take a proactive role in adopting shared responsibilities for the cities of the 21st century – mankind’s first truly ‘urban’ age.

keyboard_arrow_upCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award
keyboard_arrow_downCape Town for 2012 Urban Age Award

Another win for Cape Town – alongside its recent successful World Design Capital 2014 bid – is its selection as the city to receive the fifth Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award.  The Urban Age Award recognises and celebrates creative solutions to problems and opportunities that face more than half the world’s population now living in cities. The award focuses on projects that benefit communities and local residents by improving their urban environments. It seeks to encourage citizens, policy-makers, private business and non-governmental organisations to take a proactive role in adopting shared responsibilities for the cities of the 21st century – mankind’s first truly ‘urban’ age.

keyboard_arrow_upInternational exposure for students’ short films
keyboard_arrow_downInternational exposure for students’ short films

The prize-winning entries in the Cement & Concrete Institute’s Moving Space annual short film competition for students are enjoying increasing local and international exposure.  In September this year, the five prize-winning entries in the 2011 competition – themed ‘Science Friction’ – were screened at a film festival at the National Student Conference in Port Elizabeth; and in October the University of the Free State hosted a premiere for the UFS entry, Umbrella Man. The five films were then screened at the Prague Architectural Biennale at the end of October, and in November at the international SNIFT Short Film Festival in Berne, Switzerland. The films will also be screened at film festivals nationally through the Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor platforms, as well as on SABC 2.

keyboard_arrow_upSustainable design for ‘The Future African City’
keyboard_arrow_downSustainable design for ‘The Future African City’

‘The Future African City’ is the theme of the fifth annual Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) Sustainable Design Competition. The competition is open to students in their final year of an undergraduate architectural qualification at an accredited tertiary institution. Daniel van der Merwe, architect at the C&CI, says the competition aims to promote the innovative use of concrete in building sustainable environments.

keyboard_arrow_upMoving Space short film awards
keyboard_arrow_downMoving Space short film awards

The winning entries in the Cement & Concrete Institute’s ‘Moving Space’ short film competition for architects were screened at the recent Architect Africa Film Festival during Architecture ZA 2010 (AZA2010). This multidisciplinary cultural festival, focused on architecture and design, was organised in Johannesburg in September.