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PG Bison Education Initiative 2021 winners announced

Zander Etienne Deysel, architecture student at Nelson Mandela University, has been announced as the winner of the prestigious 2021 PG Bison Education Initiative, winning a cash prize of R50,000 (and R50,000 for his lecturer too).
Zander Deysel and Ashleigh Bennett
Zander Deysel and Ashleigh Bennett

Second place was scooped by Ashleigh Bennett, interior design student at IIE Vega, Durban, taking home R25,000. After intense deliberation, the 2021 judging panel decided not to award the third place this year, as, despite the high level of talent on display in the 10 finalists’ work, the judges felt that none of the remaining eight submissions adequately met each and every requirement of the brief.

“Congratulations to Zander and Ashleigh, as well as their lecturers,” said Lian Markham, communications manager at PG Bison. “We were very impressed with their submissions, which focused on creating a tourism-centred solution for the Strand Street Quarry in Cape Town. The judges felt that beyond the design elements, the winning and second-place entries also took into account the unique cultural, historical and community context of the site, which was a critical part of the brief.”

The winning entry

Deysel is thrilled at taking the win. “It is the highest honour that I have received up to this point and will help me to build and develop my career in architecture,” he said. “In terms of the cash prize, a certain amount will go towards helping with my studies and the rest will be kept for future use.”

His winning submission is called Four Pillar Terminal – Revitalizing the Quarry. “It is specifically designed to create social spaces for human interaction, while still incorporating the terminal aspect of the building and the environment around it. The local Bo-Kaap heritage is represented by four large pillars, each colour coded in a different colour. With beautiful views to Table Mountain, Signal Hill, Lion's Head, and the ocean, this would be a building for everyone to visit.”

Starting with staples

Bennett enjoys learning how to use new technology, such as modelling and rendering programs.

For her entry, Bennett decided a 3D model would be a good start. “I grabbed the most ideal objects closest to me – staples – and began modelling,” she says. “I quickly realised the meaning behind staples: joining, connecting, binding and healing. The goal was to create a space that is an experience within itself. This was done with experiential draw cards such as Malay cuisine cooking classes and Teppanyaki style restaurant tables. Incorporating local Malay traders and making use of colour, pattern and a Cape Dutch architecture style in a contemporary way merged the past with the present. The building design is reflective of the quarry site by making use of raw stone to merge with the land. My ideas centre around uplifting, healing and breathing new life to Bo-Kaap, the community and the heritage route.”

The awards experience

While the 2020 edition of the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative had to move online due to Covid-19, the 2021 edition was a hybrid event. All the finalists were brought to Johannesburg for the filming of the awards ceremony, which was streamed live so their families, friends, lecturers and the PG Bison community could be part of the experience.

The remaining eight finalists were:
  • Alexia Ausserhoffer from CAD4ALL Institute of Applied Architecture
  • Mikayla Louw from CAD4ALL Institute of Applied Architecture
  • Bianca de Villiers from Design Time School of Interior Design
  • Dewan Kemp from IIE Vega Cape Town
  • Tasmin Fourie from IIE Vega Cape Town
  • Ivan Bester from Nelson Mandela University
  • Joshua Baynes from Nelson Mandela University
  • Lucky Tsotetsi from University of Johannesburg
“It was wonderful to meet all the finalists in person,” said Markham. “Every year, the location of the winning institution becomes the location for the next year’s brief, so we are already hard at work on the 2022 brief, which will be set in Gqerberha. We look forward to announcing the new brief soon.”
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