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A thesis that centres around how humanity has positioned itself with modern technology and how this manifests through the typology of the power station has seen Enrico Pescivolo from the University of the Witwatersrand declared a regional winner in the 2022 Corobrik Student Architecture Awards. Enrico receives a R10 000 prize and the opportunity to compete in the national awards.
Highlighting talent, creativity, innovation, and inspiration, the Corobrik Student Architecture Awards is all about jump-starting careers, building the industry, and designing tomorrow. Regional winners are selected 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, plus a R70 000 grand prize.
Entitled ‘Obsoles[s]ence: Recharting humanity’s relationship with technology through the adaptive reuse of the Kelvin Power Station’, Enrico’s thesis aims to transform the symbolism of the power station from “that of environmental destruction and the flawed modern technological attitude towards a symbol of innovation and recharted technological attitudes for the future, building off of the errors of the past.” This idea is reinforced dealing with decommissioned power stations, when considering their adaptive reuse as the end of an era of obsolete technology and attitudes birthing the beginning of a new.
Commenting on his win, Enrico says: “I am deeply honoured and excited to contribute towards the dialogue of architecture and its role in tackling global issues. Outside of industry recognition and exposure, I am excited to share my thinking broadly to take my ideas outside of competing to actively participate in creating spaces that have meaning to its immediate users as well as its symbolism.
“As I see it, competing in the Corobrik Student Architecture Awards national round is exciting, but the opportunity to contribute beyond the finals excites me to feel part of a collaborative effort that affects all of humanity. Additionally, I am honoured to be part of a diversity of thinking outside of the themes and issues of my own work as presented by other regional winners,” says Enrico.
He adds it is “immensely” important for companies like Corobrik to host and sponsor such awards. Having their work recognised by a leader within the industry allows students to enter with confidence that their thinking has the potential to have a real impact. There is a stimulation of innovative thinking that has the opportunity to extend outwards, allowing for the potential of solving real problems.
“Student thinking can often be more radical and alternative, thereby widening the dialogue within architecture by offering fresh perspectives. It is therefore important that companies such as Corobrik use their platform to not only imbue confidence in this alternative and unique thinking into young architects, but bridge the gap between industry and academia as active participants in fostering innovative thinking,” says Enrico.
This year the national awards will again be a hybrid event held in June, following a similar format as in 2021. The 2019 awards ceremony was postponed due to Covid-19, with Corobrik instead announcing the 2019 and 2020 winners at a combined event last year. “We are very excited to celebrate the 35th edition of the awards. It has been an incredibly exciting and richly fulfilling journey,” highlights Corobrik Marketing Support Manager Thilo Sidambaram, who herself has been involved with the awards for two decades.
“Our relationship with the awards goes back some 35 years, and it is one that has proved very enlightening for Corobrik. It has added a lot of depth and enriched the architectural profession by allowing young up-and-coming architects to express themselves and show the kinds of directions they believe architecture should be going in,” comments Corobrik CEO Nick Booth. Since 1986, the awards have placed 34 winners on the architectural map, both in leading practices as well as their own firms.
35th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards: University of the Witwatersrand
Winner Enrico Pescivolo R10 000
Joint Runner Up Ural Chetty R7 000
Joint Runner Up Mahdiyah Thokan R7 000
Best Use of Clay Masonry Philisani Nkqeto R6 000
Visit studentawards.corobrik.co.za for more information about the Corobrik Student Architecture Awards.
From small beginnings in 1902, Corobrik has evolved into South Africa’s leading clay brick and paving manufacturer. Corobrik’s product quality and performance attributes remain key to the company’s success.
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