Events News

National Architectural Awards To Be Presented Ahead Of World Congress

SAIA president, Sindile Ngonyama will present the S A Institute for Architects Awards of Merit and Awards of Excellence at the Chief Albert Luthuli Conference Centre in Durban on 1 August 2014.

The 2013/14 Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Excellence and Merit will be presented by Corobrik and the South African Institute for Architects (SAIA) at a gala dinner at the ICC Durban on 1 August.

The awards dinner is a precursor to the 25th triennial International Union of Architects World Congress of Architects (UIA) which takes place in Durban from 3 – 7 August.

“These awards recognise the best of South African architecture,” said SAIA president, Sindile Ngonyama. “Architecture is the most visible of the public arts and it is a vital function of the institute to recognise and promote excellence in the field and to create public awareness and debate around architectural issues.”

From amongst the 50 entries received, eight Awards of Excellence, 14 Awards of Merit and two Special Commendations will be presented to architects from eight SAIA regions.

The team of adjudicators headed by Ngonyama, who is a founding director of Ngonyama Okpanum and Associates in East London, included Peter Kidger of Corobrik in Durban, Malcolm Campbell ACG Architects & Development Planners in Cape Town, Prof Paul Kotze of Wits University and Annemarie Meintjies of VISI magazine in Johannesburg.

SAIA members from all regions are eligible to enter their best work of any type. The Corobrik-SAIA Award for Excellence, the highest accolade that can be bestowed on a building in South Africa, recognises an exceptional contribution to the field of architecture. It has been conferred every second year since its introduction in 1990. A new development in 1999 saw the introduction of Awards of Merit, which recognise good design or a significant achievement in the field of architecture. A two year cycle begins with Awards for Architecture presented by SAIA-affiliated regional institutes in the first year, with the recipients of the Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Excellence bestowed in the second year.

“We shoulder a profound responsibility as practitioners who create structures and spaces that must exist in harmony with people, the natural environment and the existing built environment,” Ngonyama said. “Sustainability and innovation in building technologies are becoming an increasingly important factor in the design equation and we are constantly aware of our role in the quest to build a vibrant and equitable future for the diverse communities that make up South Africa.”

“It is fitting that these awards coincide with the UIA Congress in Durban on the twentieth anniversary of South Africa’s democracy with its theme, ‘architecture OTHERWHERE’. Up to 5000 architects, design and built environment professionals from 96 different countries will gather to celebrate the African profession as a meaningful contributor to the evolution of architecture globally.”

“This reinforces the view of the adjudicating panel for the Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit and Excellence that South African architects can hold their heads high when their work is compared with international best practice.”

Members of eight SAIA regions submitted entries for the awards: the Border Kei Institute of Architects (BKIA) in East London, the Cape Institute for Architecture (CIFA) in Cape Town, the Eastern Cape Institute of Architects (ECIA) in Port Elizabeth, the Free State Institute of Architects (FSIA) in Bloemfontein, the Gauteng Institute for Architecture (GIFA) in Johannesburg, the KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture (KZNIA) in Durban, the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA) in Pretoria, the Limpopo Institute for Architecture (LIA) in Polokwane.

“It is our hope that the decisions taken by the judges will spark healthy debate which is vital to a dynamic profession,” Ngonyama said.

The awards dinner will be attended by about 250 people including dignitaries from the Department of Public Works (DPW), eThekwini Municipality and other government departments within the built environment; executives from related voluntary associations; the registrar of the SA Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP); the board members, regional secretaries and members of SAIA; Corobrik executives; the media; and heads of schools of architecture nationally. The president, general secretary and members of the South African UIA Durban 2014 Organising Committee have also been invited.

“SAIA’s relationship with the DPW and SACAP has been strengthened by the increasing stature of the Corobrik-SAIA biennial awards and their association this year with UIA Durban 2014, which has placed South Africa decisively on the world architectural stage,” Ngonyama said.

SACAP is a statutory body which is the regulator for architectural professions and is responsible for reporting to the Public Works Steering committee through the Council for the Built Environment (CBE) which coordinates all six Built Environment Councils (BCE’s). It was established in terms of Architectural Profession Act No 44 of 2000 which stipulates that the SACAP council is appointed by the Minister of Public Works.