Corobrik Student of the Year Awards- 2010

The Corobrick Student of the Year -2010 finalists were exhibited at the Wanderes Club, Illovo in Johannesburg in April this year.

Several of us ‘bou-kinders’ and other students were fortunate enough to attend the exhibition and the accompanied lecture by Paragon Architecture’s Henning Erasmus.

The choices we all face
Architecture Karate

Being heavily involved in my dissertation at the moment, this was a great opportunity to see what the country’s finest architecture students of 2010 had to offer.


PJ Klippie De Toit
Tshwane University of Technology


The opportunity that this unique site of natural and cultural heritage presents, for establishing a new ecological paradigm of connectivity and interdependence, is utilised by this design through spherical geometry and a cyclical narrative. The crater, if properly understood, reminds us of our common origin and place in the universe as well as the essential unity of all existence. 
The thesis maintains that the building will be a heuristic or didactic device that reinforces this connection. The narrative, an elliptical walkway referencing the cycle of eternal return and metaphor for the timeline of the universe and earth, explains the evolution of the universe through various interpretation venues, each creating an experience analogous as well as symbolic of the event that occurred at that point in the history of creation.
excerpt taken from 

Cazir Naroth
The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal


The projects aims to bring the possibility of a fully integrated modal interchange facility to the South African city. The site, which is already zoned for public transport, is situated in the Durban CBD at the intersection of existing major road and rail infrastructure, with the interchange forming the backbone of a greater urban scheme.
Global environmental and economic issues, along with local cultural and social history provide a solid justification for the promotion of public transport and the scheme seeks to create a thriving hub at a key point in a city that is thirsty for an injection of activity. The proposed complex allows for the seamless integration of busses, taxis and trains whilst attempting to use transport as a tool to create civic spaces wherein socioeconomic integration can naturally occur. The potential of such a facility calls for a solution on a greater urban level, and my scheme seeks to promote both the rejuvenation and development of the surrounding areas by proposing a precinct master plan that suggests new development whilst reinforcing the existing infrastructure.
In essence the design provides a spine of pedestrian life and a spectrum of positive development, which radiate from a contemporary urban transport landmark. 
excerpt taken from  

Pierre De Lange
University of the Free State

Echoes in Architecture was an investigation into a how the intervention of a new building can reconciliate a neglected historical structure. Specifically, the old Rissik Street Post Office in the Johannesburg City Centre which was devastated by a fire in November 2009. The project aimed to marry contemporary and historic architecture to achieve an equilibrium between preserving cultural heritage and providing a memorable urban space. The result was a subtle geometric insertion so that the new appears to be hugged by the existing ruin. This created a building with two fronts; the face of memory (old) and hope (new).
excerpt taken from 

Nikhil Tricam
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Close Ups…

My project focuses on introducing urban spatial and formal hierarchy into the township through the introduction of an Urban Health Precinct with emphasis on the detailed design of a Mother & Child Centre, in the township of KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth. The choice of building type stems from the addressing of current social concerns, namely the lack of adequate healthcare facilities in our township areas as well as alarmingly low infant care standards. The treatise focuses on the investigation of the constituents of nurturing & healing space, as well as the introduction of identity and a sense of place within a historically segregationalist, architectural identity-devoid context. The components of the building include a pre- and post- natal facility, delivery and recovery as well as an educational component focused on, but not limited to, the empowerment of women form the community, drawing on their experience as mothers and caregivers to educate younger and first time mothers.
Nikhil also won the best use of clay brick for his entry. He says, “I chose to make extensive use of brick masonry in my design due primarily to the sense of permanence conveyed through it’s tectonic, which was integral to the conceptual direction my design has taken. The spatial and formal possibilities afforded by bricks are well documented and it was my intention to exploit these. The environmental imperative, affordability and relative ease of construction were all factors in the selection of brick masonry as a building material. Personal preference and a predilection for the works of Louis Kahn and Rogelio Salmona was influential in the manner in which the brickwork was employed in my design.  
excerpt taken from 

Calayde Davies
University of Pretoria 

Close Ups…

The thesis generates an architectural model for vertical hydroponic agriculture for the city of Pretoria on the existing industrial heritage site of the Old Pretoria West Power Station. The project aims to aid in the development of a new productive urban building, productive urban landscape and ultimately a productive urban society for South Africa in the 21st century. The design also caters for an urban market and agriculture park as part of the food factory concept. The project is sustainable and resource-efficient and aims to become a model for urban reform through urban agriculture across the city of Pretoria. The design is a seven-storey indoor food-growing building, constructed entirely from contemporary and experimental building materials in the forms of structural bamboo, structural steel and bamboo-reinforced concrete. 
excerpt taken from 

Catherine De Souza
University of Witwaterstrand 

I believe that may be Catherine De Souza peeping up from behind the model…


Close Ups…

My project explores the conditions of quarantine of patients infected with drug-resistant TB at Sizwe Infectious Diseases Hospital on the east of Johannesburg. 
It does not seek to liberate them, to do away with the institution, or to integrate the hospital with its surrounding suburban context, but rather recognises the irrefutable need for such institutions in the face of the very serious public health threat posed by drug-resistant TB. 
The project thus has two interrelated aims.

I To change the nature and quality of quarantine
II To capitalise on the natural resources of the site  This involves improving the quality of life of patients, creating a sense of connectedness to the world outside, and providing possibilities for income-generating work.  

However, it contends that equally important is the need to pay attention to the human rights and dignity of the people who find themselves, through no fault of their own, held in these institutions in conditions not unlike prison.
The second aim is to rehabilitate, conserve and make accessible to the public the grasslands and watercourses of the site by incorporating them into a nature reserve.
The architectural design works with the idea of territorialising the boundary, layering thresholds and creating new possibilities for passage; it exploits non-mechanised means to create infection-safe living environments; and it explores possibilities of landscape integration which are uncharacteristic of modern institutions.

excerpt taken from

Stefan Van Biljon
University of Cape Town

Close Ups…
 The Structure
Supporting Models

The tension between an industrial site and natural forces inspired the project at Cape Town’s Duncan Dock.
A seawall manifold reintroduces water to the reclaimed site. The tide is choreographed to create a changing landscape that registers the passage of time as the sea gradually consumes the site. The effects of the flood are used to amplify the atmosphere of the site.
The flood machine communicates in gesture, compelling guests to interpret its response to the elements. Atmospheric restlessness is used to create a place of contemplation.
Facing systematic destruction, the building haunts KL-Berth. This haunting is a function of patience and risk. The site becomes a barometer for wider environmental issues.

excerpt taken from

As a mid-masters student the exhibition was incredibly inspirational while simultaneously very daunting…
There was much debate amongst the boukinders after the exhibition, especially around the winning entry.
Many felt the project wasn’t a true architectural project for an Masters in Achitecture (Prof) degree, while others were simply too impressed to see anything wrong with the project.
There is unconfirmed talk that the student was awarded 100% by his final jury panel during is masters presentation, and was told by one of his own faculty that if he, the faculty member, had it his way – he would have failed him.
I guess that is the nature of these designs of architectural poetry, some people will love every expressive piece of the work while others will fail to see the point; you’ll never know until the last minute whether the project is what you hoped, or if it was worth putting in all your chips for the win.

One thought on “Corobrik Student of the Year Awards- 2010

  1. Well done for the guy who got 100%. That idiot faculty member can take his carrot out of his ass and start seeing the joy that architecture can bring to the world. It is difficult to judge the project from your photos as they are small but I love the way water plays a fundamental role in changing the character of the space. It reminds me of a cinema in Venice that Steven Holl designed. You arrive on a boat/gondola in to the foyer of the space because the entire foyer is water. One of those projects you wish existed.

    Ilze Wolff

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