- Sol Plaatje Library (0.03 MB)
/ MEDIA STATEMENT / This content is not written by Creamer Media, but is a supplied media statement.
The Sol Plaatje University Library C004 was the overall winner in the ‘Buildings Greater than Three Storeys’ category, Architectural Concrete in the Fulton Awards 2017. AECOM is the Principal Agent for this prestigious project.
The Fulton Awards, held every two years by the Concrete Society of Southern Africa, took place at a venue in the dramatic Drakensberg mountains on 3 June. Named for the late Dr. Sandy Fulton, the awards continue to celebrate the legacy of scientific and technological advances in concrete within the built environment.
The Judges’ Citation referenced the Sol Plaatje Library C004 as a “bold and original project that pushes the boundaries of architectural and engineering design, which required very high expectations from the concrete to perform not only as a structural, but also as an aesthetic, material.”
The end result was a “spectacular” three-dimensional envelope which allows a 2.7-m-wide perimeter void between the external envelope and the floor plates. This resulted in in an envelope as an integrated ‘wall and roof’ shell that is functionally, structurally, and technically independent of the ‘building’ within it. The main contractor, Murray & Dickson Construction, managed the unusually demanding staging and shuttering of the huge areas of the free-standing external envelope walling, delivering a highly-refined, consistently-silky, off-steel surface finish.
“This landmark library not only celebrates concrete as its main material, but it gives concrete a highly-visible civic and sculptural presence. Concrete becomes one of the key features of the main pedestrian spine of the new university campus, which links it to the surrounding city of Kimberley,” the Judges’ Citation read.
AECOM was appointed in May 2014 by the University of the Witwatersrand to provide project-management services relating to the development of the Sol Plaatje University precinct in Kimberley. The team is under the leadership of Michael Moller and Bradley Marais from the Building and Places business line, who have participated in the completed projects, and the projects underway currently.
AECOM’s first task order, from 1 July 2014 to 31 March 2016, was completed on time for the start of the 2016 academic year, and within the cumulative budget of about R750 million for the first three building projects and associated infrastructure.
The value of the total programme, comprising all projects completed to date, as well as projects currently underway, is about R1.5 billion. The team earned high praise from the client, with AECOM receiving an extension of its contract up to May 2018.