Shortlisted projects for the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation for 2017/18 highlight how reducing the environmental impact of building is pivotal for good architecture and social design
It was the Roman architect Vitruvius who defined the principles of good architecture as durability, utility and beauty.
However, with the urgency of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations, today it is intrinsic for development to also bear in mind its effect on the living environment.
The shortlisted projects announced for the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation for 2017/18 provide a host of new insights into how great architecture or social design can be produced without compromising sustainability.
“We live in a very rapidly transforming world, and this has become evident through the evolution of entries received in the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation over the past decade. In 2009 when the award program was conceived, sustainability still seemed like an architectural style. Today, no development can happen without it,” said Maryke Cronje, 2018 President of the South African Institute of Architecture (SAIA) and convenor of the 2017/18 Award.
Cronje is joined on the adjudicator panel by Dr Sechaba Maape (sustainability architecture academic and architect), Philippa Tumubweinee (academic and co-founder of IZUBA INafrica Architects), Niraksha Singh (AfriSam Raw Materials and Sustainability Manager), Dr Emmanuel Nkambule (academic with particular interest in the social environment) and Richard Stretton (founder of architecture and furniture design studio Koop Design).
The 14 shortlisted projects across four categories - Sustainable Architecture, Research in Sustainability, Sustainable Products and Technology, and Sustainable Social Programmes - were selected following a rigorous screening process which included assessments and on-site inspections by a six-member adjudication panel.
Entries were required to demonstrate sound sustainable practices that respond to innovative architectural and design thinking in the field of sustainability, that complied to the criteria of harmonisation, people upliftment, evolutionary paradigm and placemaking performance.
The AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation acknowledges excellence in best practice and innovation in sustainable architecture, recognising the contributions that bring sustainable innovation to human living environments through integrated approaches to communities, planning, architecture, design, building practice and technology.
The biennial award reflects AfriSam’s drive towards reducing the carbon footprint of building and manufacturing of concrete materials and providing innovative solutions in architectural design that are less harmful to the environment, and which help conserve natural resources for future generations.
"Making a difference extends far beyond AfriSam’s products and what these products can create. The ethos of creating concrete possibilities is deeply entrenched in the company’s philosophy and values, and this is underpinned by many of the company’s business practices which clearly demonstrate our commitment to a lasting legacy. It is for this reason that we are extremely proud of our role as co-founder and sponsor of the AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation. Now in its 10th year, we are excited about how the Award recognises individuals, teams and projects that push the boundaries of what is possible in the sustainable built environment whilst at the same time making it part of our everyday lives and accessible to all,” said Richard Tomes, AfriSam Executive, Cement Sales & Marketing.
The shortlisted projects in each of the categories are as follows:
Category A – Sustainable Architecture:
Northcliff House by Architecture for a Change (A4aC);
Khayelitsha Shared Services Office Building by ACG Architects and Development Planners/ Ngonyama Okpanum Associates;
House Burnett Prinsloo by Robert de Jager, Architect;
Fulham Heights by Local Studio (Pty) Ltd;
House Gardiner by Simply Sustainable;
RBDIZ Entrance Gate by Jeremy Steere Architect; and
Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre by Lewis Levin Architect
Category B – Research in Sustainability:
A framework for a green infrastructure planning approach in the Gauteng City-Region by Gauteng City-Region Observatory
Category C - Sustainable Products & Technology:
Rambrick by Use It Waste Beneficiation (RF) NPC; and
hearScreen by hearX Group
Category D – Sustainable Social Programmes:
- Malawi Church by A4aC Architects;
Silindokuhle Preschool by Collectif saga;
The Wilds – revitalising a forgotten public space by James Delaney; and
Table House by noero architects cc/ rainer hehl
“Sustainability is not only about technology, but also about a whole new way of life – of relating to one’s self, other people and the environment. The shortlisted projects show how a more thoughtful and integrated approach to design can make the world a better place,” said one of the adjudicators, Dr Maape, in summing up the high quality of the entries.
The AfriSam-SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture + Innovation will form part of a prestigious gala event on 26 October 2018 at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA).