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Johannesburg  (BAS) Cape Town Durban Pretoria Port Elizabeth

Archaos, the UK national architecture student association and Architecture Sans Frontieres UK are jointly holding an ideas competition for an AIDS orphanage in South Africa.

The purposes of the competition are three fold:

To generate ideas or a design primer to inform and inspire architects working in this field 

To raise awareness about the problem of AIDS in Southern Africa and in general

To raise money towards the building of an AIDS orphanage in South Africa.

The competition submissions should be about how to enrich the provision of facilities for AIDS orphans with ingenuity, innovative uses of every-day and recycled materials and careful analysis of spatial and formal relationships that any facility would benefit from.

There will be three prizewinners, each receiving a years' supply of condoms, and several Honourable mention awards each receiving 1 months supply of condoms.

The competition is being run in conjunction with a local charity working with AIDS orphans in South Africa, Hearts of Hope (www.heartsofhope.org.za ).

Squire and Partners Architects were pleased to assist and have generously donated sponsorship money for the prizes. 

Registration for the competition closes on the 03 March 2006, and the final submission deadline is 27 March 2006.

A spokesperson for Architecture Sans Frontieres UK said 'We know that AIDS is devastating whole communities in many parts of Africa and throughout the world. There is not one quick fix solution to the difficulties that these children face as AIDS orphans, but we hope to improve their physical situation by both raising funds, and focussing on how the design of their environments can be improved.'

An Archaos representative added 'This is a great opportunity for architecture students to contribute in a small way to a really worthwhile project. Architecture students are really good at generating ideas and hopefully this competition can produce something that will be genuinely useful in constructing an orphanage as well as contributing towards funding one.'

More information can be found at www.asf-uk.org and the competition homepage at www.archaos.org/aids.

Also see Hearts of Hope web site, www.heartsofhope.org.za.



With its groundbreaking design work in the retail, mixed-use and other commercial markets Bentel Associates International (BAI) has become a recognized leader in the practice of customer-focused design. BAI’s outstanding reputation is maintained by a dedicated team of architects and designers who continue to push the boundaries of quality design.

A passion for design excellence characterises Jannie Meyer, a BAI director who together with Eberhard Gersie manages BAI’s Cape Town office and a 30 strong design team. Meyer is a retail and commercial architect who is not only highly skilled in all aspects of commercial design but also has expertise in the business, marketing and project implementation aspects of architecture. 

Through the years, Meyer has gained a reputation for understanding the complex issues of mixed-use developments and he has developed a cohesive design and delivery structure that focuses BAI’s considerable expertise on creating integrated solutions. His ability to coordinate the creative process with the linear demands of financially viable design and delivery has been invaluable in realizing outstanding results for retail and mixed-use projects such as Seaside Village (Big Bay), Marakech & Rabat Athlone. 



Demonstrate that efficient lighting technologies, such as discharge, fluorescent and LED technologies, can be used in very contemporary and attractive luminaires intended for residential and commercial lighting, and you could win! ESKOM is once again announcing its exciting Energy Efficiency Lighting Design Competition, open to professionals and students in the fields of engineering, architecture, art and design. Cash prizes with a total value of R125 000 are at stake, including two R30 000 prizes (for best decorative and best functional entry) in the professional category.  The goal of the competition is to demonstrate that energy efficient lighting technologies can be used in very contemporary and attractive luminaires intended for residential and commercial lighting; as well as to encourage architects, designers and engineers to consider the huge environmental and economic benefits, as well as the convenience and versatility of energy efficient lighting. The closing date for the competition is 18 August 2006.  Read More ...

FREE CAD SOFTWARE has been around for some ten years but it is only recently that the better versions have become available for free - in both Windows and Linux.

In this section we look at five CAD and 3D packages (both young and old!)  available for free which you can download and use straight away. Of particular interest is the high level of Linux CAD development with one Community Version available for compilation. More ...


 South African architects, planners, surveyors, interior designers, artists, owner builders and other nice people get together at Flo's Open Synergy Centre to explore Earth Building Techniques with Nautilus. 

Something special is happening here.

If we leave our cities and head out for the country we are able to find our cultural roots in the most beautiful and peaceful places. 

Architectural photographer, Mario Senatore, went looking for traditional Swazi architecture and returned in love with Swaziland and its People - and a wonderful set of photographs which we publish here for your delight and your inspiration. 

Click here!


Habib Sissoko

"As I understand it, Architecture is a means for learning and teaching. For as long as I have been studying architecture, I have tried to explore the possibilities of using it as a tool to investigate the peculiarities of the relationships between the inhabitants and the inhabited. Among those peculiarities, are the spiritual, the physical, the emotional and the cultural aspects of life. 

I believe that harmonizing opposites is an important aspect of life that architecture should study and understand. From my understanding of the Bambara proverb “What is not harmonious is conflict; and what is conflict is destruction.” I come to the conclusion that any given culture can make opposites harmonious, and architecture being a form of “culture” should be able to meet that challenge. As an educator and a practitioner, I endeavor to condition opposites through Harmony.

Individuality as the confirmation of the very existence of the larger community, the recomposition of the traditional, the coexistence of simplicity and complexity, conservation and reorganization, being and becoming, unity of opposites are some key elements in my approach to studying, teaching and practicing architecture."

Visit the Sissoko Design Office



Another successful earth building workshop took place at Flo's "School of Earth Architecture & Construction" in Limbro Park, Johannesburg.

Flo's green spam machine unearthed a dozen plus group of very interesting and wonderful souls brave enough to leave their mundane problems aside for a day to concentrate on issues of higher order: like earth building.

There were a high number of built environment professionals present at the workshop including five or six architects, interior designers, land surveyors, engineers and home builders.

The group turned out to be overly intellectual and wouldn't stop talking and asking questions until around noon but once the shoes came off it delivered a fine performance on the cob floor and proved to be particularly good at plastering.

It is encouraging to see that earth building systems are entering the realm of mainstream architecture, design, construction and decor on a very practical level. Everyone present at the workshop had very practical reasons for being there - there is nothing academic about earth building in South Africa today ...  

See more pictures... 


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