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Reasons to be Proud #R2bP: Nelson Mandela University’s School of Architecture has reason to smile after winning three of the five categories of the City Centre Sustainable Housing Design Competition. The competition was run by the CIB, International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction.

“The competition was an opportunity to explore, develop and present ideas for sustainable housing in African city centres, focusing on the city centre of Pretoria in the city of Tshwane, lecturer and studio master Clayton Johnson-Goddard said.

Given housing backlogs and the opportunities found in city centres, there is a need to develop new models for sustainable housing in African cities, he said.

He added that the competition was run as part of the design studio module over six weeks. This included 37 third-year Bachelor of Architectural Studies students working in groups of three or four team members with weekly workshops and contact sessions with the studio staff members.

“Students then submitted one A1 panel for the competition, which was then printed and pinned up at the University of Pretoria's Architecture Department and anonymously marked by a panel of six jurors last Friday.”

The competition had five categories, which included Best Overall Scheme, Environmental Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, and Innovative Building Technologies and Indigenous Materials. Nelson Mandela University won three of the categories with an additional two projects receiving honourable mention. 

“The Best Overall Scheme (above) was a design that concerned itself with the Self-Built City. A building that uses leftover waste material to create a new structure that is built by the inhabitants according to their needs and desires. A building that strives to foster community while benefitting the natural environment.”

Think Tank Associates from Mandela University, with group members Amahle Ngcakane, Hlonela Gulwa, and Lihle Gule, won the overall first prize to the value of R10 000.

The University also won the Sustainability Prize: Social with a prize of R7 500. The team members were Kellan Jones, Ricardo Diedericks, Tiane Oelofse, and Theuns Janse van Rensburg.

Team members Carl Schutzler, Zac Setzkorn, and Tsepo Khalienyane won the sponsors’ prize for Innovative Building Technologies and Indigenous Materials with a prize of R8000.

Judge Dr Jennifer Mirembe said the project of Think Tank Associates “is ground-breaking and represents the future of architecture. This entry can go to international competitions because the project took us to a place we did not know.”

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment, and Technology Prof Marshall Sheldon said student competitions play a crucial role in skills development.

“Competitions provide students with an opportunity to apply and enhance the knowledge and skills they have acquired, and exposure to problem-solving, critical thinking, time management, and real-world hands-on experience. It also instils motivation and confidence for their future careers.

“Congratulations to the winning team and this amazing award. Your hard work and dedication have paid off. As the Faculty we are proud of your achievements,” Prof Sheldon said.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160