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Pieter Jonkers from the Tshwane University of Technology is this year’s regional representative at the 25th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards.  His winning entry is ‘The Design of a Transportation Hub and Student Centre on the Pretoria Campus of the Tshwane University of Technology.’

Allin Dangers, Corobrik Director of Sales, Inland Region, noted that the architecture represented in the work of these young professionals from the Tshwane University of Technology was again of the highest caliber. Corobrik had been delighted to witness the growing maturity of architectural graduates coming out of Tshwane over the years, with architectural graduates now well able to compete with the best of the best from the other institutions.

He said this year’s regional winner Pieter Jonkers as well as runners up Wandile Sibandze and Adrian Louw and winner of the prize for best use of clay masonry, Johan du Toit, demonstrated that future architects were embracing the sustainability agenda with environmental issues achieving equal status with functionality and aesthetics.

Pieter Jonkers winning entry focuses on the design of a railway station and student centre as a place of arrival and meeting place at the Pretoria Campus of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Various future developments envisaged for the campus will put more pressure on the already choked precinct. The proposal will comprise of an upgrade of the existing Metrorail station as well as an evaluation of the existing transport and parking situation.

Jonkers says, “Although public transport to and from the campus mainly comprise busses and mini-bus taxi’s, railway transportation is an almost forgotten mode to serve the campus. A possible combination/connection between these forms of transport may result in a more centralised, accessible and organised transport situation – a gateway to TUT. Other modes of movement on campus will be tested (i.e. shuttle system). “

“In our vision this new complex (student centre /transportation hub) will become one of the most essential meeting and arrival spaces on campus – something which is currently absent. The approach will be to establish a pedestrian orientated campus environment integrated with activities to ignite a student life and to institute a sense of place. The redesign of existing outside spaces aims to create a more integrated and coherent campus environment.”

In second place Wandile Sibandze’s thesis Mvembili Interpretive and Research Centre offers an interpretive and research centre in Mvembili area, Swaziland. Situated on a site rich in Swazi heritage and natural beauty of its environment the centre also encompasses a museum which tells the story of the monarch. Scientific and cultural explanation draws awareness of environmental conservation.

Third place, Adrian Louw’s entry, ‘The design of a Louw security community re-entry facility in central Pretoria’ focuses on alternative approaches of incarceration in South African prisons.  He says the current overcrowded facilities encourage habitual return to a life of crime whereas his dissertation proposes a new detention building.  The facility he recommends will offer education, rehabilitation and holistic reintegration of inmates.

Best use of clay winner, Johan du Toit’s  thesis is  ‘The design of a music development centre in central Pretoria.’

Du Toit says, “The aim of the music centre is to contribute to the development of the musical art within the public arena of South Africa. It will serve as a case study for how music education and awareness could be approached.”

“The design incorporates open and enclosed performing spaces, recording studios, classrooms, practice areas, an auditorium and administration facilities. It will act as a vibrant node as music and dance will be encouraged in the public area.”

Louw integrated clay face brick on the main elements of the building to reflect the building’s intention of the recognition of current material use and conform to what an African building should adhere to.

Brick, especially in Pretoria, is used and recognised as a material used for formal buildings.

Flamingo Travertine from Corobrik will create an interesting and somewhat playful aesthetic on these main elements in juxtaposition to the monotonous colour pattern of concrete, which can become overbearing if used throughout the building. It not only serves an aesthetical purpose, but a functional purpose as well. Clay brick is recognised as a widely available building material in South Africa which does not require high skilled building aptitude. It also has a long life span, supports thermally efficient solutions with low maintenance this underpinning its economic value.”

The awards, which offer a R7 000 prize for the winner, a R5 000 prize for second place, a R3 000 prize for third place and a R3 000 prize for best use of clay masonry took place at the Tshwane University of Technology.  Pieter Jonkers will represent this institution at the national finals on the 7th March 2012.

“While these awards were created to promote quality design and to acknowledge talent among architectural students, they are importantly providing opportunity for discourse and debate on what constitutes really good architecture. As to be expected we are seeing design solutions and specification technologies emerging to better address the issues of global warming and that augurs well for our future built and natural environments,” Dangers said.


Pieter Jonkers of the Tshwane University of Technology is the regional winner in the 2011 Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Event.  He is pictured receiving his award from Allin Dangers, Corobrik Director of Sales – Inland Region

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