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Medical Research Facilities
Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal

Client:The African Centre
Type:Medical Research Facility
2003SAIA Award of Merit
2004SAIA Award for Excellence

Award Citation

The project serves as an example of how designers apply their minds across the range of technologies and resolves each appropriately and inventively. The image of the building is rural vernacular but it houses state-of the art technologies that support and drive the research initiatives of the international donor/funders. Through inventive tectonics the skills known to the local population have been harnessed and honed to both support the making and ownership of the project. The fact that the public spaces of the project are easily accessed and make subsidiary spaces readily accessible further enhances the sense of ownership. The designers have too been mindful of the value of limited resources and all are addressed and integrated into the resolution of the design. ‘Sustainability’ takes on its rounded meaning of ‘best practice’ by having the full range of objectives addressed. The project has received coverage in the international press, thus helping raise the profile of the local profession. The project is deemed a worthy recipient of a national award of merit.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Phaidon. 2004. Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture, The. London: Phaidon. pg 638