As a regional winner of the 32nd Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award, Riaan Huiskens will represent Nelson Mandela University at the final competition to be held on the 8 May. Huiskens was awarded a prize of R10,000 for his winning dissertation, The design of a 3D printing facility in Central Port Elizabeth.
Riaan Huiskens, regional winner of the 32nd Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award
In second place, receiving an award of R8,000 was Camryn Cochrane and in third place was Devon Diesel. He received a prize of R6,000. The award for best use of clay brick in their thesis was presented to Oghenetejiri Akpokinivo. She has received an award of R6,000.
In discussing his winning thesis, Huiskens says, “High-tech architecture is moving towards a paradigm shift with the development and incorporation of digital fabrication technology. This interest is extended into the discussion of recycling existing infrastructure. In this treatise, a topic which ties into both the heritage and ecological discourse. It recognises the significance of historical urban elements and the finite quality of heritage resources within the city.
A historical building used as a host for the design of a 3D printing facility invites a dialogue between architecture of the old and the expression of the new. The Premier Mill Building is identified as an historical urban artefact and the programme complements the historical background of the building, which was a granary. The primary architectural exploration focuses on the possibilities offered by 3D printing in the making and expression of architecture. The nature of the facility organises function before sign. Meaning the initial architecture lies in the systematic operations of the facility as a place of digital fabrication. Therefore, it focuses on successfully incorporating existing infrastructure as functioning components to the system. Secondly, the building is a sign of its function, a visual opportunity for a new architecture to reflect the nature of the facility.