2011/12 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence entered by eight projects from KwaZulu-Natal region
A total of eight projects from KwaZulu-Natal, each with their own unique challenges and innovative solutions, are in the running for the 2011/12 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence.
This research project was initiated by the eThekwini Municipality's City Architects Department and GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, to inform the quality and sustainability of affordable housing. The focus was on the design of a range of the most appropriate housing typologies for application in informal settlement upgrading and greenfields projects in eThekwini's urban area. The study serves as a public resource for all roleplayers, community and built environment professionals, to meet the urban housing challenge with greater authority, efficiency and understanding.
The Green Hub in Durban's Blue Lagoon Park was designed eThekwini Municipality's City Architects Department to accommodate a public office for eco-tourism bookings and environmental displays for the municipality's Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department (EPCPD) with an integrated public ablutions block for the Parks Department. The sensitive site, limited budget and time constraints dictated a modest building which responds to harsh contextual factors, relying on solar power which is backed up with a 60A single phase mains power supply.
Clermont Swimming Pool and Sportsfield Upgrade
This project brief called for the design, documentation and construction of a 25 x 25m community swimming pool with related facilities, as well as an upgrade of the adjoining soccer field comprising grandstand seating, public toilets and change rooms. Buildings were cleverly designed by eThekwini Municipality's City Architects Department along the full length of the soccer field to minimise coverage and maximise on open spaces. The double up design was very cost effective, especially in terms of servicing the building. Careful consideration was given to the layout of the pool especially in terms of functionality.
Concierge Boutique Hotel and Freedom Cafe
Tucked behind the gritty commercial zone of Umgeni Road in Durban, lie a series of Victorian workers' cottages from the late 1800s. When the client acquired four of these semi-detached units, the brief for Architecture Fabrik and Don Albert & Partners was to create a boutique hotel with adjoining studios for creative professionals. The new structure is not physically connected to the historic buildings and is set back from the street which enables a visitor to easily distinguish both the reception, and the 'new from the old', whilst retaining the character of the street and area.
Gottlieb Distribution Centre
Key drivers in the programme for a new complex for the Gottlieb Group were to provide efficient distribution centres with a premium grade working environment, high natural light levels and a strong visual connection between functional elements. A bold architectural expression with visually transparent and exiting interior space were also primary programmatic demands. The design solution from Elphick Proome Architects takes the form of two buildings comprising distribution centres as large scale white boxes and carefully articulated linear offices blocks. The complex imparts a powerful branded exposure with an architectural expression celebrating articulation, linearity and transparency.
New KZN regional head office for Investec
Investec initiated a move from their offices in Durban's CBD to an office park in Umhlanga in 2006. The brief to Elphick Proome Architects was to provide premium grade offices in Ridgeside Office Park with a sophisticated expression capturing an established corporate image and rendered in high quality materials. The spectacular ocean and distant cityscape views informed the arrangement of the office space around public interface and service spaces. The driving factor that tied the design together was the desire to keep it simple and create an uncluttered refined elegance.
Gowrie Farm is a low-density 'residential estate' established on a working dairy farm adjacent to Nottingham Road. Houses are loosely scattered around a 9-hole rural village golf course that weaves between a series of lakes and Rooigras slopes with rocky outcrops. The design by designworkshop:sa arises directly from the landscape opportunities and the programme requirements. It is primarily a double-glazed verandah with views all around. Flexible spaces are arranged along its length matching use patterns to sun movement through the course of the day. Behind this are two solid, rural brick bedroom wings as protective sleeping chambers. These three simple massing elements form a northern courtyard, protected from the wind but never concealing the southern views.
Mini Town Node
The Mini Town node is the northern most of the four development nodes defined by the City along the length of the redevelopment of Durban's Golden Mile Promenade. The opportunity of the project was for designworkshop:sa to transform the site into an active public space by emptying it of all obstructions. The primary intervention was a new public facilities and restaurant building. Its purpose is to bring focus and active identity to this piece of a 7km long continuous Public Space. This is supported by its location at the northern end of the site, at the nexus of the Marine Parade, the Promenade and the new Car Parking.
The South African Institute of Architects Award for Excellence was introduced in 1990, and is conferred every second year where it recognises an exceptional contribution to the field of architecture. The award programme was revised in 1999, and now includes the Awards of Merit running concurrently. The Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit are to be conferred at a function to be held in September 2012 as part of the SAIA AZA Biennial convention which is being held in Cape Town. The panel of adjudicators for the 2011/12 Awards is being convened by the President of the Institute, Fanuel Motsepe, and consists of Peter Kidger from Corobrik and an academic architect, Philippa Tumubweinee and designer David Tlale.
The 2011/12 awards have seen a total of 55 entries, a marked increase from previous years, and significantly, the Institute received entries from two new regions - the Northern Cape Institute of Architects and the North West Province Institute of Architects.