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Corobrik SAIA Architectural Awards recognises innovation, design excellence

Friday, 4 May, saw 180 architects and built environment professionals gather in Pretoria for the Corobrik SAIA Institute of Architects (SAIA) Awards gala. The biennial event recognises top architectural projects of recent times.
New Residence, 151 Main Road, Constantia designed by Malan Vorster Architecture

“The Corobrik SAIA Awards programme is run nationally every two years and this year, as president of SAIA and convenor of the awards programme, I had the privilege of being part of this prestigious awards programme,” said Maryke Cronje.

“SAIA’s mission is to pursue excellence and responsible design. It is also to uphold the dignity of the architectural profession and contribute meaningfully to the enhancement of society and the environment. These awards ratify SAIA’s mission by recognising and promoting excellence in architecture.

“We are delighted to have received a more varied cross-section of projects than in previous years. This is also a tribute the impressively high standard of entries at regional level.”

The Lake House designed by KOOP Design

Strong emphasis on sustainability

“In travelling to the sites of all shortlisted entries, we have seen that sustainability and care for the environment has been prominent with architects emphasising the nurturing of the environment. There is a great use of natural and sustainable materials as well as consideration for the landscape.

“While some materials used are imported, local tradespeople were used so that when a project was complete, the tradesmen walked off the site with a set of skills that could be applied elsewhere. This is good for our country,” said Cronje.

The Delville Wood Memorial submitted by The Creative Axis Architects in association with Mayat Hart Architects

Meeting global standards

Bryan Wallis, acting CEO of SAIA, said, “The standard of projects submitted seems to improve exponentially at each of the national awards, and this year is no exception with the quality higher than ever before. We are delighted that the members of SAIA are constantly advancing in technicality and design and this year’s entries can be benchmarked against global standards.

“Awarded projects are manifestations of how architects successfully interpret their clients’ aspirations in the buildings produced.”

Sixty-one regional winners were entered into the national awards. Shortlisted projects were visited, and the winners selected.

The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre by Lewis Levin Architects

Five projects received commendations. These projects met many of the criteria area worthy of further discussion and debate. A further 24 were presented with awards of merit. Six projects received Awards for Excellence, the highest distinction that SAIA can confer on a project in South Africa.

The Awards for Excellence recipients are:

  • New Residence, 151 Main Road, Constantia designed by Malan Vorster Architecture;
  • The Delville Wood Memorial submitted by The Creative Axis Architects in association with Mayat Hart Architects;
  • The Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre by Lewis Levin Architects;
  • Sasol Place entered by Paragon Architects;
  • The Lake House designed by KOOP Design;
  • NZASM Footsteps along the tracks written by Nicholas J Clarke and Roger C Fisher.

Sasol Place entered by Paragon Architects

A panel of eminent personalities representing the architectural field made up the adjudication panel. Convened Cronje, it comprised Professor Paul Kotze, academic; Musa Shangase, sponsor representative; Sumien Brink, eminent layperson and Luyanda Mpahlwa, eminent architect.

Transparent, consistent adjudication

Cronje concluded, “The awards adjudication process is an immense responsibility. This, the adjudicators took to heart and made sure that transparency and consistency was adhered to during the process.

“The adjudication panel has viewed some exceptional projects of various scales and complexities. A client that is passionate about his project/brief and who values the role of the architect was a common denominator throughout the projects, which was an immense contribution to the success of these projects.

“The adjudicators acknowledge that despite the current economic state of our industry in South Africa, architecture of a high standard is still produced in our country.

“In looking forward, the adjudicators trust that more projects of a social and developmental nature will be submitted in future,” concluded Cronje.
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