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The legacy of design is celebrated through Corobrik Regional Architecture Award

When it comes to conveying the stories of our existence, art has long been considered an attractive medium to so perfectly capture humanity’s shared passion and challenges within a specific timeframe. Architecture is the physical embodiment of this artistic expression, serving the dual purpose of communicating history’s stories while offering practical applications within a living space. Through Corobrik’s Regional Architecture Award, the legacy-creating power of architecture is celebrated for future generations.
This year it was announced that Stephan Diedericks from the University of the Free State was the regional winner of this sought-after award. Commenting on the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award, Musa Shangase said: “As an organisation, we believe that ‘better starts here’, and this is particularly true for this award. These up-and-coming young architects are already designing iconic structures that would imprint their legacy on the country’s built environment. It is truly an honour to witness history being made.”
For the Corobrik Regional Architecture Award, Stephen Diedericks  received R10 000, with Rueben Roode taking home the second prize of R8 000, and Gabriella Linder- Haber receiving R6 000 for third place. A further R6 000 was awarded to  Monique le Roux for her innovative use of clay masonry in the building design.
Stephen Diedericks is one of eight young architects from top South African universities receiving a Corobrik Regional Architecture Award in recognition of their design talent and innovation throughout 2019. In addition to the cash prize, the regional competition winners are through to the finals of the National Architectural Student of the year Award – set to be announced in Johannesburg in May 2020  – which comes with R70 000 in prize money.
Stephen Diedericks’ dissertation is entitled ‘An Interminable Living Machine.’  It is a humanizing and re-appropriating the dormant Mangaung Intermodal Transport Facility into a living, economic systems of change.
This dissertation explores and addresses the re-appropriation of the vacant Mangaung Intermodal Transport Facility (MITF), into a living, micro enterprise factory of change.  Reintegration of MITF, otherwise known as the Bloemfontein Taxi Terminal, with its immediate urban context is a fundamental requirement to ensure that the intervention links back into the urban context, thus humanizing it.
The site was once home to Bloemfontein’s first power station.  It is this concept of power generation that leads to the client (catalyst) that acts as a “economic power generator” by enabling microenterprise development within the re-appropriated building.  Several subsystems, including aquaponics and SMME(Small, Medium and Micro enterprise) training, feed of the main catalyst and in turn provide resources in the form of food and business training to ground floor users and micro enterprise users to latch onto over many decades of growth. 
A building that recycles itself and reuses these elements elsewhere for traders and business owners.  A building that filters water through biofilters creating a living building with people that act as the sustainable, ceaseless energy source that creates an interminable system of change and economic growth in Bloemfontein and the Free State.  A living machine.
Runner up Reuben Roode has entitled his thesis, ‘Understanding the ‘man-made’ it is a laboratory in symbioses with an aquaculture farm adjacent to the iron-clad island, Lake Victoria.   Roode says, “A colleague and I embarked on a three-month journey on bicycles through East Africa. The various people, landscapes, and settlements encountered along the journey contributed to the experience and character of the place. As an architecture student, I desired to understand this character of a place influenced through manmade and natural features. Phenomenology in architecture, therefore, served as a catalyst for studying the surrounding built environment for a better understanding of the social, economic and environmental state of East Africa and Lake Victoria. As a response a fish farm and lab is proposed adjacent Migingo Island on Lake Victoria.
In third place, Gabriella Linder- Haber’s thesis is A Fish Market Complex for Maputo Bay Port.  She says her scheme details a fish market complex and ice distribution building at the Maputo Bay Port in Mozambique. The project is an exploration into the edge conditions and distinct ways of life in Maputo. The choice of site was due to a motive to revitalizing industrial zone bordering the sea and to reconnect city to sea.
Best use of clay was awarded to  Monique le Roux for her thesis entitled Tactile Memory: Ceramic studios, Olifantsfontein, Gauteng.  The dissertation explores the reactions that architectural experience can elicit, specifically by means of tactile stimulation as a tool for recollection. Ceramic studios, a hand-made tile workshop and exhibition space is designed in remembrance of the Olifantsfontein Potteries 1907-1962. The potteries were originally started by Cullinan as part of the Consolidated Rand Brick, Pottery and Lime Company (Conrand). The original site of Conrand has since been subdivided and developed, but the portion that housed the lime works remains undeveloped (the proposed site for the project). The decision to incorporate a brick spine as a datum for the project is influenced by the brick making history of the site as well as the textural quality of masonry work. 
Musa Shangase, Corobrik Commercial Director said that architecture was able to provide citizens with an artistic medium that was aesthetically profound as well as functional, thereby ensuring its longevity: “Wherever you travel in the world, there will be architecturally significant structures that tell a story about the region’s people, history and particular heritage. It is vital that we celebrate the architectural designs that will continue this legacy-defining tradition through awards’ ceremonies such as these.”
He stated that, along with such iconic design, the material being used in the structures was also vital in ensuring the structure remained for generations: “Corobrik’s clay face brick is an incredibly durable, environmentally-conscious product that can create a powerful impression when used throughout a building, or enhance the accompanying material when worked into the design. Better starts here - with Corobrik.”
Stephen Diedericks is the regional winner of the 33rd Corobrik Architectural Student of the year event.  His dissertation, entitled ‘An Interminable Living Machine.’  It is a humanizing and re-appropriating the dormant Mangaung Intermodal Transport Facility  into a living, economic systems of change.   He is pictured at the award ceremony with (left) Professor Jonathan Noble, HOD at the University of the Free State  and (right) Gareth Pillay of Corobrik.