UKZN Architecture Graduate Wins Corobrik Student Award
UKZN Masters in Architecture graduate Ms Brigitte Robyn Stevens is the KwaZulu-Natal winner in the national 28th Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year awards.
Stevens was the only student selected to represent UKZN and won a cash prize of R8 000.
The prestigious annual awards highlight the creative and technical talent of South Africa’s top architectural students and are aimed at promoting the advancement of design excellence nationally.
Stevens’s thesis explores the significance of the cosmos in relation to death and its space making principles of the Shembe Church. She proposes a cemetery complex to “Celebrate Life” in the City of Durban.
The project uses a Shembe principle of “reclaiming lost space” through the adaptive reuse of the existing Nicol Square parkade.
Stevens says that it is ‘often thought that architecture represents the values of the society that creates it, and the great pieces of architecture represent cohesive, powerful societies. In many of them power is the result of some sort of greater belief systems.’
‘In South African society, colonisation interrupted what might have been our ‘great African connection’ between architecture and larger forces of influence.’
Stevens proposed introducing a symbol into the centre of the city, which will demonstrate the relationship between African spirituality and South African society, and redefining the identity of Durban as an African city.
She is currently a candidate architect for the South African-based firm SAOTA, a studio of architectural designers and technicians.