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26th Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards Regional Winner

Billed as one of the most prestigious awards programmes of its kind in South Africa, the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards selects regional winners from eight major universities, based on the students’ final theses.
Corobrik has long played a pivotal role in recognising up-and-coming young architects in South Africa. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that most regional events have had to be held remotely. Despite the challenges posed, the country’s architectural students have still managed to excel, and Corobrik is proud to continue to support our universities during this difficult period.

Hashim Tarmahomed from University of the Witwatersrand - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Hashim Tarmahomed, University of the Witwatersrand

Hashim Tarmahomed, University of the Witwatersrand
A project emphasising the significance of earth for dispossessed communities at the Avalon Cemetery was declared regional winner from the University of the Witwatersrand in the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards in a virtual ceremony on 11 December 2020.
“My project examined the site through an archaeological lens, reading the social relations of displacement, dispossession, erasure and marginalisation embedded in the landscape, and rewriting a set of spatial relations onto it. As a project that emphasises the significance of earth for dispossessed communities in the act of burial, clay brick was used as a primary building material,” explains Hashim Tarmahomed.
Avalon Cemetery is a buffer zone between the townships of Soweto, Lenasia and Eldorado Park, where the non-European community of Johannesburg, dissected into Black African, Indian and Coloured, was displaced to respectively. “Not only is this terrain a common space of death, it is also the generator of political agency and cultural presence,” notes Hashim.

Kamal Ranchod from University of Johannesburg - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Kamal Ranchod, University of Johannesburg

Kamal Ranchod, University of Johannesburg
A final-year thesis entitled ‘Hyperreal Perspicuities: Multi-Narrative Reconstructions of Modern Egypt’ saw student Kamal Ranchod win the first regional event of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards in a virtual ceremony on 27 November 2020.
The project investigates drawing as representation and develops prototypes in the form of drawings, instruments and immersive videos. These prototypes develop modes of representation that subvert linear viewpoints and illustrate the multiplicity of narratives embedded within space, explains Kamal. Focusing on modern Egypt between 1827 and 1952, the project uses drawing to construct “the hidden hauntings of colonialism and modernisation across three main historical events,” namely the Battle of Navarino, the Bombardment of Alexandria and the 1952 Cairo Fire.

Tlhologello Sesana from Tshwane University of Technology - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Tlhologello Sesana, Tshwane University of Technology

Tlhologello Sesana, Tshwane University of Technology
Decolonising architecture with a hybrid theory of image, culture and space through the design of a land redistribution hub in Tshwane proved a winning theme for student Tlhologello Sesana from the Tshwane University of Technology. It was chosen the regional winner as part of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards at an event held at the Pretoria Art Museum on 11 December.
Entitled ‘A REVOLUTION’, the idea was born of a desire to narrate a forgotten African history and suppressed African ability. “As a result, in conceptualising my thesis, I treated land as a standing witness to the evolution and aggregation of history, with the result that 90% of the proposal is below the ground so as to remember the past through the surviving layers of earth,” explains Tlhologello.

Work by Blake Smit from Nelson Mandela University - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Blake Smit, Nelson Mandela University

Blake Smit, Nelson Mandela University
A project focused on waste pickers, a group of individuals largely unacknowledged within the circular waste economy, was declared a regional winner of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards from the School of Architecture at Nelson Mandela University in a virtual ceremony on 11 December 2020.
The project looked at creating a dignified place for these individuals to recycle waste within the harsh landscape of the Arlington landfill in Port Elizabeth, explains winning student Blake Smit. It incorporated waste building material and building rubble in the form of reclaimed brick and clay products, which were used in unique ways within the design process.

Work by Nicki Vollmer from University of the Free State - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Nicki Vollmer, University of the Free State

Nicki Vollmer, University of the Free State
A project exploring the themes of time, cycle and ritual embodied within the Hindu religion in order to influence the creation of a contemporary cremation infrastructure was declared the regional winner from the University of the Free State as part of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards. The event was held at the Planetarium on Naval Hill in Bloemfontein on 11 December.
Entitled ‘The Last Sacrifice’, winning student Nicki Vollmer explains that the project is an investigation of the complexity of the Hindu religion and its beliefs towards death and our existence on earth and beyond.
The lack of available burial ground in South Africa emphasises the need for alternative burial methods. Due to Nicki’s personal interest in the Hindu religion, she opted to focus her thesis on Hindu cremation traditions so as to encourage the public to consider cremation as a meaningful and honourable burial method.

Work by Katya Krat from UCT School of Architecture - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Katya Krat, UCT School of Architecture

Katya Krat, UCT School of Architecture
A thesis entitled ‘Montage, Collage in making Tarkovsky’s Zone: Sculpting a Cinematic Narrative Space in a Liminal Landscape’ by Katya Krat was selected regional winner from the School of Architecture at the University of Cape Town, receiving a R10 000 prize. Held on Friday 5 February, the event was part of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.
Katya explains that her work took on a very theoretical approach that drew parallels between her heritage as a Russian-South African and the collective ecological and cultural history of marginal sites in Cape Town. She explored how alternative and experiential design methods inspired by the study of cinema can inform the creation of poetic and phenomenologically enhanced architecture, which connects multiple realities and time-based encounters.
Her research drew parallels between Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky’s cinematic zone, the perceptual zone of the current Covid-19 reality and a physical Cape Town site containing the marginal Salt River zone. The latter’s industrial history is showcased in derelict constructions made from Corobrik products. These remnants comprise steel, iron and brickwork found in existing industrial artefacts, which were then reworked with the ephemeral addition of wood as a material to create a renewed interpretation both physically and metaphorically.

Work by Hayden Malan, UCT Landscape Architecture - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Hayden Malan, UCT Landscape Architecture

Hayden Malan, UCT Landscape Architecture
Landscape architecture is a way of continuously negotiating between a wide range of practices, involving people, materials and timelines, according to Hayden Malan, declared winner of the Most Innovative Final-Year Landscape Architecture Award on Friday 5 February. The event was part of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, and saw Hayden receive an R8 000 prize.
Hayden elaborates: “From a personal experience, landscape architecture has meant that I can explore plant properties, natural systems and spatial concepts, which I have always been interested in. The broader skillsets also enable many other professions to communicate with one another, which I find fascinating. Within a highly compartmentalised world, this translatability is often wrongfully overlooked.”
Hayden’s winning project is situated in Saldanha Bay, South Africa’s second-busiest port, where surges in human attention and development throughout history have resulted in a complex and almost chaotic exchange between living systems. In light of proposals to expand the coastal industrial zone, the main design objective is to mitigate the degradation of the marine environment by filtering ballast water (fresh or saltwater held in tanks and cargo holds of ships) to rid it of invasive non-indigenous species.
The central design proposes to filter ballast water through onshore abalone farming and concurrently generate onshore seaweed feed and farming. The site of the project is an abandoned iron ore factory well-situated to be repurposed for water filtration. The interdependent industries of ballast water maintenance, fresh water sourcing and aquaculture would work together to make each more resilient and provide opportunities for people to be grounded in their environment.
The project incorporates Corobrik Ironstone paving throughout the redesigned Saldanha Steel factory, with a colour that links to the dominance of iron in the bay and facilitates pedestrian engagement with the site. This is important because the factory and masses of purple dust from the iron ore storage have been environmentally detrimental to the bay, while the slow rejuvenation by the broader design would help remedy this.

Work by Liam Ullrich from University of Pretoria - regional winners of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards, 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.

Liam Ullrich, University of Pretoria

Liam Ullrich, University of Pretoria
Burial spaces within the City of Pretoria have become inert, fenced-off islands – restricting death rituals and their intrinsic value to society, according to Liam Ullrich from the University of Pretoria. A final-year thesis entitled ‘Life in Death: Addressing Heterotopic Burial Spaces by Reintroducing Burial Rituals into the Inner City of Pretoria’ saw Liam declared regional winner as part of the 34th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards at an event on 15 February.
Diagnosed with colon disease at the start of his first-year studies, Liam adds that this has given him a new appreciation for the ephemerality of life, and an approach to design spaces that promote cathartic healing. “Through the act of making and designing space, I hope to create spaces that have the potential to provide solace for displaced individuals within the city,” he highlights.
Billed as one of the most prestigious awards programmes of its kind in South Africa, the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards selects regional winners from eight major universities, based on the students’ final theses. These regional winners then go through to the national round, where the top title is awarded, in addition to a R70 000 grand prize.
“I have always admired the work of past finalists and feel tremendously honoured to represent the University of Pretoria this year. Under a well-established and trusted brand name, Corobrik provides a platform for architectural graduates to showcase their work to a wider audience within the community. By showcasing graduate projects, the event helps challenge the status quo in addressing South African issues within the built environment by inspiring lateral, creative solutions,” comments Liam.
He hopes that his project informs a wider audience of the severe impact of urban burial issues within our major South African cities. Burial rituals and grieving are an intrinsic component of our humanity, and burial spaces have been increasingly removed from South African inner-city districts. The project attempts to reintroduce burial rituals into the inner city of Pretoria with the intervention of a public commemorative burial space.
Liam explains that Klompie brick floor paving is featured in the entrance hall of the Old Pretoria Railway Station. Responding to this contextual material, the use of narrow Corobrik Piazza Pavers in the same herringbone pattern means that the internal flooring continues a material dialogue with the historic brickwork.

SOURCE: First Published on Leading Architecture & Design

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