The winners of the 2019-2020 Corobrik-South African Institute of Architecture (SAIA) Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence were announced at a gala event in Durban on Friday 10 June. Held biennially, the awards programme is the highlight of the SAIA calendar.
“Corobrik has been a loyal partner and sponsor for over 30 years. As a young student whose life in architecture began some 40 years ago, I clearly remember the role that Corobrik played in supporting our organisation during those early days. They have stood by SAIA during boom-and-bust times. We remain inextricably linked,”
SAIA President Ruben Reddy
The SAIA awards programme is structured over a two-year period and is conducted in two stages. Stage 1 sees regional awards for architecture presented by the various regional institutes affiliated to SAIA. In Stage 2, the national awards, the winning regional projects receive either a Commendation, an Award of Merit and/or an Award for Excellence. This follows a vigorous adjudication and shortlisting process. The Awards for Excellence recognise exceptional achievement in the field of architecture.
“The Corobrik SAIA Awards are meaningful in that they communicate a sense of the state of architecture in South Africa. They offer a moment to celebrate the talent and innovation of the architectural profession across regions, bringing communities of practice together. They also provide a reflective moment, and temperature reading, to the broader built environment world, about where we are currently as a South African community of practice,” says SAIA Past President and Corobrik-SAIA Awards Convenor Kate Otten.
The judging panel viewed a collection of 68 built works and three written works submitted to the final stage. The awarded projects were judged on their innovation, considered relationship to context, sustainability beyond a buzzword, functionality for purpose, and responsiveness to questions of inclusivity. In addition, it was important for the panel to acknowledge courage and experimentation, as it is in this testing ground of difficult choices that an alternative future for the profession lies.
Exemplary projects pushed the boundaries of materials, created unexpectedly beautiful and serene spaces, and stretched expectations and understandings of what might be possible. They ask us to contend with high social and spatial inequality, the urgency of climate change and, with a cautious sense of optimism, they suggest responses that provoke a different kind of architecture for another future that might just be possible.
The 2019-2020 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Awards for Excellence winners are
New Torwood Semis Forest Town, Johannesburg – BD Studio
Arklow Villa III, Greenpoint Cape Town – Douglas and Company
5 Magistrate Towers – Jeremy Steere Architects
Barnato Hall Extension Phase 1, Wits University, Johannesburg – 26'10 South Architects
Student Resource Centre, Sol Plaatje University (SPU) Kimberley – Designworkshop SA
Awards of Merit
New Screenwriters’ Retreat, Monaghan Farm, Gauteng – C76 Architecture
1 Discovery Place, Sandton Johannesburg – Boogertman + Partners
Langbos Children’s Shelter, Addo Eastern Cape – Jason Erlank Architects
Mixed-Used Students’ Residence and Sports Precinct, Mpumalanga University, GAPP Architects and Urban Designers
Wynberg Girls’ High School, New Classrooms – Noero Architects
‘Unstitching Rex Trueform: The Story of an African Factory’ by Ilze Wolff
Awards for Excellence
House Mills, Hermanus – Pinard Architecture Inc.
Vredenburg Hospital Phase 2B – Wolff Architects
Grain Silo Complex, V&A Waterfront – Heatherwick Studio with Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects (VDMMA), Rick Brown and Associates (RBA), Jacobs Parker Architects (JPA)
Witklipfontein Eco Lodge, Vredefort Rural – GLH Architects
Chere’ Botha LSEN School – Wolff Architects