Two final-year Bachelor of Architecture students from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Dylan Du Plessis (26) and Ethan Schneigansz (21) will represent TUT and South Africa in the Saint-Gobain Architecture Student Contest in Lisbon, Portugal from 26-28 June 2023.
The Architecture Student Contest is an annual international competition hosted by Saint-Gobain, a construction and building product manufacturing company based in France. Now in its 18th year, the competition, which aims to promote Saint-Gobain's vision of sustainable buildings, attracts more than 1,300 students from 32 countries, studying Architecture, Design and Construction Engineering.
Saint-Gobain’s Local Leader and Academy Manager, Samukelisiwe Mkize, said: “Universities are preparing future generations and students are already building the future. The objective of the Architecture Student Contest is to develop a project based on sustainability, both for people and the planet. Students from different universities all around the world are bringing up their best ideas to compete and win one of the prizes of this international contest.”
The contest has two phases, namely national and international. To secure their spot in the international competition, TUT beat Nelson Mandela University, University of the Free State, University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of Johannesburg during the national contest, which took place in April this year. Students could only participate as individuals or in teams of up to three members.
How the competition works
Every year, Saint-Gobain selects a country with an architectural challenge and works closely with the local municipality to develop a task that will address existing social and cultural issues.
This year’s task comprised the urban rehabilitation of an area close to the city centre of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Students were challenged to renovate an existing building - situated next to a new residential complex - for use as a cultural centre, and create an urban design for the public space connecting the two buildings.
With the guidance of part-time lecturer Navarre Ebersohn and acting year co-ordinator Nadia Lloyd-Lister, the two students delivered a sustainable project, dubbed Disturb to Undisturb, which focuses on energy efficiencies and a low carbon footprint, while ensuring enhanced living and leisure spaces.
“The competition is about designing using Saint-Gobain products to create buildings that adhere to temperature, acoustic and fire ratings, as well as producing sufficient indoor air quality with the lowest embodied carbon and carbon emissions as possible,” said Ethan.
“Their project is divided into three parts. The first comprises the renovation of one building into a video library and multimedia space. Next to that is a new building, which forms the second part of the project, and is envisioned to become a residential space with commercial space on the ground level to exist in cohabitation with the renovated building adjacent to it. The third part of the project comprises, the landscape architecture of all the spaces between these two buildings. On the master plan, Dylan and Ethan created an amphitheatre, children’s play area, seating areas, parklands and a Portuguese market,” said Nadia.
TUT’s involvement in the competition
TUT first participated in the competition in 2018, and since then fourth-year students have the Saint-Gobain project as their first and biggest project of the year.
This year, 16 groups of students from the Architecture Department participated and the top two participated in the national competition.
We wish Dylan and Ethan every success with the international competition.