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Tuesday, December 3, 2019


(Lawrence Ogunsanya Academic Leader, Architecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal; 
Juan Solis-Arias, Master of Architecture 2nd year coordinator. Lecturer of Architecture, University of KwaZulu-Natal; winner Siyabonga Khuzwayo & Chris Mungle, Corobrik Sales Manager eThekwini)

Siyabonga Khuzwayo from the University of KwaZulu-Natal wins the 33rd annual Corobrik Regional Architecture Award

Architecture has the profound ability to capture a particular moment in history, reflecting the various interests, beliefs and unique character of a place in time through form and material. The design of such legacy-defining structures is perfectly represented at this year’s Corobrik regional architecture award.

This year it was announced that Siyabonga Khuzwayo from the University of KwaZulu-Natal was the regional winner of this sought-after award. Commenting on the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award, Musa Shangase, Corobrik Commercial Director said: “As an organisation, we believe that ‘better starts here’ and this is particularly true for this award. These up-and-coming young architects are already designing iconic structures that would imprint their legacy on the country’s built environment. It is truly an honour to witness history being made.”

For the Corobrik Regional Architecture Award, Siyabonga Khuzwayo received R10,000, with Kireshen Chetty taking home the second-prize of R8,000, and Mthokozisi Sibisi receiving R6,000 for third place. A further R6,000 was awarded to Mbuso Msipho for the innovative use of clay masonry in the building design.

Khuzwayo is one of eight young architects from top South African universities receiving a Corobrik Regional Architecture Award in recognition of their design talent and innovation throughout 2019. In addition to the cash prize, the regional competition winners are through to the finals of the National Architectural Student of the year Award – set to be announced in Johannesburg on May 6, 2020 – which comes with R70,000 in prize money.

Siyabonga Khuzwayo’s dissertation is entitled Exploring the influence of traditional healing practice to space and form:  A design towards a traditional healing centre in KZN.

This thesis focuses on deciphering the notion of traditional healing, to ascertain how architectural design can become a medium to promote the traditional healing entity. This will change the negative connotation associated with traditional healing, African indigenous values, cultures and beliefs. The aim of the study is to design a building typology that will provide a platform for traditional healers to network, transfer skills, and engage with the general public.

Second place Kireshen Chetty – Fashion and social change as a catalyst for Architectural Design, A proposed fashion innovation centre in Clairwood, Durban. Chetty says, “Within the context of globalising urban cities, this dissertation aims to investigate and explore the means and methods of cultural integration through the commonality of fashion. A collaboration of science, fashion, architecture and art is the basis used to combat the repercussions and wounds inflicted by apartheid and post-apartheid, mainly segregation and xenophobia. This proposed fashion innovation centre in Clairwood, Durban is self-sustainable and aids in skill development and regeneration within the community.

Third-placed Mthokozisi Sibisi’s thesis is entitled: Exploring the benefits of recycling in low income settlements: A design of a socially inclusive recycling collection centre in Bisasar road informal settlements, Durban. The project is a recycling collection centre with a buy-back centre as primary functions with educational, social and business elements as supporting secondary functions. It will generate income for people working at the facility.

The best use of clay award was presented to Mbuso Msipho’s thesis entitled Identity and Memory as a generator of Architecture.

Shangase added that it was “Enlightening to see a generation of new architects showcasing world-class design talent. The designs by the winners of Corobrik Regional Architecture Award are an example of the start of legacy-enduring structures that will connect future generations with our current-day experiences. When it comes to creating a legacy in architecture, it’s best to rely on honest, simple materials that inform the architectural language without overpowering the finished product.”

He concluded that “Corobrik’s clay brick range is a really impactful example of this, linking our past to our present and inspiring our future. Better starts here - with Corobrik.”