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VAN RENSBURG, Cecilia J

Born:

Architect


BArch (Free State)

Cecilia is a founding member and the sole proprietor of CECILIA ARCHITECTS CC (CEA), which was established in the Lowveld in 1983. Her expansive knowledge and experience traverse diverse design fields ranging from residential to commercial and public architectural projects.

Cecilia has a distinguished track record and after 25 years involvement with the architectural profession, she remains inspired by the varying challenges and learning that each successive project brings. As the firm's principal architect, her commitment to expert design and personal involvement with projects ensures the 'full circle' of the architectural process. She provides sustained involvement throughout all project phases from initial client briefing and concept design, through production of the built form to completion.

Cecilia brings to the firm a strong and innovative conceptual design talent that centres on response to site and context. She thrives on technically demanding design solutions and she has comprehensive technical experience in construction techniques, the design development process, and the management of technical resources. Cecilia's proven track record as a project leader and designer is based on an ability to provide integrated design solutions of benchmark quality in support of architectural principles and objectives, considerate always of critical environmental issues.

Managing a staff compliment of 17, Cecilia has surrounded herself with competent staff who shares her passion for design. The firm's high performance culture is evident in its diverse portfolio and CEA's commitment to the rigorous detailing required to realize design intentions is reflected in their broad understanding of steel buildings, glazing systems, precast concrete and complex roofing systems. Cecilia is a strong advocate for collaborative design processes and her vision and leadership has established CEA a recognised innovation hub, whose Roundtable approach to design ensures CEA of an in-depth knowledge of the local market, which is central to their value as designers. The influence of this strategic advice extends beyond the built output of the firm to include active involvement in a number of professional and industry organizations such as MPIA, SAIA, SACAP and IID.

Cecilia's learning is rooted in a B. Arch degree that was obtained at the University of the Free State. She is an awarded professional, whose potential was recognised from an early stage. After receiving merit bursaries for her first year of study, Cecilia was granted a bursary from the Civil Service for Architectural Studies to complete her studies. She registered as an architect in October 1978. She has been responsible for the design of prestigious awarded projects such as the coveted design award for the Monument that celebrates Nelspruit as the capital of Mpumalanga Province.

Cecilia's intellectual journey did not end there. As a past president of the Mpumalanga Institute of Architects (MPIA), Cecilia remains involved in the educational side of the profession. She believes the relationship between teaching and architectural research is integral to professional development. Cecilia is a member of the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) and serves on the Continuing Development Practice Committee.

Cecilia spearheads her company's involvement with the local community, and she is the chair person of the Lowveld Association for People with Disabilities and also of the Mpumalanga Provincial Council for People with Disabilities.