In 2014, Boogertman + Partners launched the Architectural Design Scholarship Awards Africa. Their objectives were to encourage architectural students to excel in design.
The scholarship, which awards the winner with R140 000, is the largest available in South Africa for architecture and is open to all universities in Africa where Boogertman + Partners have a presence, including Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. “As the premium design-focused scholarship in SA, we hope to create a lineage of African designers who, by means of this award, will have been able to pursue their design passion anywhere in the world,” says Dewar van Antwerpen, director at Boogertman + Partners. He goes on to say: ‘We believe these young designers can bring innovative, socially-relevant design from a uniquely African perspective to the rest of the world.’
Entrants into the scholarship award are whittled down to five or six finalists, who must then compete in a three-day design challenge. Last year the challenge was to design an architectural intervention on a wedge shaped site at the William Nicol/Main Road intersection in Johannesburg, which is home to an informal craft market. The brief required finalists to grapple with the informal/formal dichotomy by accommodating current traders in a more formalised, yet inclusive, environment. Finalists were given just 48 hours to design and present their intervention.
The entries are judged based on these following principles: design and innovation, process, sustainable design, and presentation. Yvonne Bruinette, from the School of Architecture at the University of Pretoria, was the winner of the Boogertman + Partners Architectural Design Scholarship Award Africa 2015, while Silindzile Shongwe, also a UP student, was first runner up and received a R70 000 bursary. Bruinette’s design was inspired by the analogy of a circus, as both a cultural and economic force. Circus on Main proposes to reconnect the site with its urban context, but more importantly to reconnect its users through a bottom-up approach.
Considering the nomadic lifestyle of the current informal traders, an interchangeable structure was proposed to allow informal flexibility and adaptation for both use and user on the ground floor, and more formalised cultural performances on the higher levels. Beyond the initial financial reward, the scholarship also includes an individual mentorship programme for the duration of the recipient’s studies and a two-year contract of employment at Boogertman + Partners upon completion of their Masters degree.
Entries for the Architectural Design Scholarship Award Africa 2016, are open.
For more information on how to enter, go to: http://www.boogertman.com/