NUST Architecture Honours students Ndeshipanda Iita and Elao Martin recently won the prestigious annual Murray & Roberts Des Baker architecture students design competition in South Africa. Their project entitled ‘Architecture of Crisis – Windhoek Communal Borehole Wells” was awarded the first prize amongst 16 entries from mainly South African schools of architecture by a high-ranking international jury. The award ceremony on Friday 2 September formed part of this year’s biannual Architecture South Africa congress ( held at WITS University in Johannesburg under the theme of “Scale” from 1-3 September 2016.
This is another hugely significant achievement for the NUST School of Architecture and Spatial Planning, only six years old. Recently, the NUST Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Architecture programmes were granted unconditional validation status by the Namibia Council for Architects and Quantity Surveyors.
Des Baker Architecture Student Design Competition
The annual Murray & Roberts Des Baker architecture student design competition and award, first introduced in 1983, is held in recognition of the late Des Baker, who was Executive Chairman of Murray & Roberts when he sadly passed away in 1982, having served the company for 34 years. In his time Des Baker was recognized for, and was well known as one of the most outstanding and respected figures in the construction industry. The competition, open to all students of architecture at Universities and Technical Universities in South Africa, had for the first time been opened up to Universities from the Southern African Region. The NUST Department of Architecture and Spatial Planning was the only school of architecture outside South Africa that submitted student works in what is considered widely as the most prestigious student architecture competition in Southern Africa.
The Projects
In responding to the requirements, as contained in the competition Brief to “think simultaneously at the scale of a city and its infrastructural systems, and at the scale of a small building or physical intervention” […] “in order to affect positive change in the built environment”, the winning project deals with the acute water crisis in Windhoek, and proposes a city-wide intervention to provide communal water-infrastructure which also functions as interactive community spaces.
Runners-up were the “Urban Tree House – addressing Homelessness in Cape Town” from the University Of Cape Town, and the “Distillery of Discontent – the Sleep of Reason produces Monsters” from the University of Pretoria.
The Namibia Institute of Architects and the Faculty of Natural Resources and Spatial Sciences generously supported students’ participation in the conference.

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