Corobrik honours architectural students

Architectural students are the custodians of future quality design and sustainable building practices. Judging by the talent showcased by Corobrik’s 28th Architectural Student of the Year competition, the future looks bright, writes features editor Karien Slabbert


Dirk Meyer, Corobrik’s managing director, says that the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award was created to promote design excellence and to acknowledge and reward talent among graduating architectural students.
Meyer points out that, while it is accepted that architecture is very much about legacy, the participating students’ work was strongly influenced by the sustainability imperative with different amounts of emphasis placed on key social, economic and environmental aspects.


Harold Johnson

University of Johannesburg student Harold Johnson walked away with the top honours at this year’s competition. Entitled The ‘Dark’ City: Critical Interventions in Urban Despair, Johnson’s winning thesis is a six-phase design, each with various sub-phases that ranged from basic responses such as rain harvesting, a manual hoist and windmills, to upgrading a building. When asked what inspired his thesis, Johnson said, “I wanted to set my own brief where I could explore the limits of architects’ skills and their training.”

Rachel Wilson received second prize for her thesis, “Junkspace City,” The Institute of Political Ecology, a sensitive landscape project to rehabilitate scarred landscapes through ecological restoration.

In third place is Zoe Goodbrand for her thesis entitled The Connected City. Goodbrand proposes revitalising Johannesburg’s natural environment through the establishment of the Braamfontein Spruit as a sub-urban Greenway.

Tiffany Melless received the award for the best use of clay for her thesis Frontier City: Converging Rituals in Johannesburg’s Urban Fabric.

This year’s judging panel included Karuni Naidoo of CNN Architects in Durban, Chris Wilkinson of Chris Wilkinson Architects in Tshwane and Malcolm Campbell of ACG Architects in Cape Town.