Construction World

For the winners of the Tshwane University of Technology leg of the 31st Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award and their peers, this would be the era of 3D-printed houses, digi cities, self-drive cars and an urban environment that could not have been imagined as little as 10 years ago.

At an awards ceremony held at the university Reply Mahlangu from the Tshwane University of Technology was awarded first prize and received R8 500 for his thesis entitled ‘The design of an automotive assembly facility in Pretoria.’ The Second prize of R6 500 went to Antonio Jose Diz Garrido, while Conrad Janse van Rensburg and Carel Pieter Redelinghuys shared third prize. R4 500 prize for the best use of clay masonry was also presented to Tania Rude.

TUT student maps the way into the architectural future

This annual competition enables Corobrik, the country’s leading producer of clay brick, to recognise the shining lights on the architectural map of the future. The top students from eight major universities are identified based on their final theses and presented with awards throughout the year. The regional winners then compete for the national title and a prize of R50 000 at the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Awards which will be held in Johannesburg in May 2018.

Musa Shangase, Corobrik Commercial Director said that the students of today would chart the way forward during challenging times for developing countries such as South Africa which not only had to embrace the advances of the day but use these to address things that were unique to Africa whilst also embracing its cultural heritage.

“But, no matter how pressing the needs and challenges of our immediate built environment, we cannot forget that we exist in a global context. The world has embarked on a fourth revolution that has already ushered in unprecedented change and disruption and will continue to do so. We have seen the demise of the vinyl record and the analogue camera and the birth of new brands such as Uber, AirBNB and Google. Newspapers and magazines, book publishers and even the postal service are struggling to move with the times and stay relevant,” he warned.

He said that Reply Mahlangu’s thesis, entitled ‘The design of an automotive assembly facility in Pretoria’, had fully embraced the complexities of the past present and future in South Africa. Mahlangu says, his thesis, is an auto¬mobile assembly plant that is suitable for the South African context.

Research reveals the South African automotive industry generates over R100-billion annually and contributes to 6% of the country’s GDP. However, the industry does not consist of any locally owned car maker due to the financial burden of entering the sector. All the assembly plants in South Africa are designed according to an international standard in order to fulfil an international demand. Each of these mechanized facilities costs billions to estab¬lish and they are specifically designed for manufacturing. Investors stand to lose billions if the company fails to sell the cars.

The aim of this thesis is to lower the stakes by designing a smaller assembly plant that can later be retrofitted to perform other functions (office building, retail outlet or even student accommodation) beyond manufacturing cars. This urban located multi-storey assembly plant will encourage rental opportunities while responding to the unemployment challenges of the country by using labour to offset the massive capital required for a complete mechanisation.

BANNER 6

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