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Excitement builds at architecture awards in Glenwood

The exhibition is open to the public until October 31 free of charge from 09:00 until 16:00, from Monday to Friday.

A GLENWOOD architect won first place at an evening of celebration and awards, that was held at the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA-KZN) on Friday, October 1. The exhibition is open to the public until October 31. The community can visit the exhibition free of charge from 09:00 until 16:00, from Monday to Friday.

Speaking at the event, KZN president of the South African Institute of Architects, Sikhumbuzo Mtembu said the awards ceremony honoured winning architectural designs in the province.

“This is the first in-person event we have had this year, because of Covid-19. It’s essentially a celebration of architecture, showcasing (local) skill and what architects bring to society,” he said.

Miriam Seidenfuss and Leigh Bellingham (Common Architecture) with Sipho Kula (Gillespe Architects).

“The winner is selected by a panel. The regional committee, made up of about 14 people, selects a jury and then the jury looks at all of the entries,” added Mtembu.

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The jury judged submissions by considering three architectural aspects: commodity, firmness and delight.

Christine Van Den Bergh, Monique and Emma Gillespie represent Gillespe Architects which showcased a design at the event.

“Commodity refers to the structure being usable – it must fit function. Firmness refers to durability – it must be assembled with materials that will last, and delight means it must be aesthetically pleasing,” said Mtembu.

Winning architect, Richard Stretton of Koop Design claimed first place with his Florida Road design Dukkah restaurant.

“We felt that this particular project was a catalytic one. It enlivens a part of Durban,” he said.

“It breathes a bit of life, it activates the streets. Through a few very simple gestures, this building does a lot for its environment. It’s success is in the fact that people go there and like it. It’s a very positive, public space,” added Stretton.

Alessio Lacovig and Michael Rassmann (AOJ Architecture Interiors) added their design into the hat.


He said the awards created a buzz in the local architecture industry.

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“Each provincial institute will put out a notice to all of the registered architects in the province for buildings that they believe are noteworthy. Architects put their own work forward for assessment. It’s an assessment by your peers and other professional architects,” said Stretton.

“What I like about it, is that it brings the work into discourse. We are all professionals in our arena, we are all doing the best we can. We don’t often speak to each other about our work. Through the award process, information is provided and people give more background information on their buildings, which enlivens the discourse around the architecture of the last two years,” he added.

SAIA-KZN is located on Bulwer Road in Glenwood. For more information, call 031 201 7590.

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