May 23 2014 at 09:31am
By BARBARA COLE
Architectural students from around the world have come up with ideas for the development of Durban’s bustling Warwick Junction transport and trade hub.
The colourful, noisy inner city site, which is frequented by an average of 460 000 commuters and at least 6 000 street vendors every day, is the subject of an international competition for students from schools of architecture around the globe.
The competition is an important part of the 25th International Union of Architects World Congress of Architecture being held at Durban’s ICC from August 3-7.
This the first time that it will be held in southern Africa and will directly boost local coffers by R168m. It is expected to attract 5 000 delegates.
The theme of the congress is “Architecture OTHERWHERE” which celebrates diversity by exploring other thinking, regions, practice, disciplines, communities and ways of teaching and practising architecture.
And the students have been submitting their visions for Warwick Triangle as well as their proposals for one edge of the Brook Street Cemetery.
Fifteen entries have been shortlisted from the 163 proposals from 51 countries.
The names of the short-listed students will be announced at the end of this month and the competition winners will be revealed at the congress. Their ideas will be on show at the Durban Exhibition Centre.
Apart from the cash value of the prizes, the “prestige of winning the competition cannot be overstated”, Amira Osman, the contest convener, said.
The students’ ideas will be shared with the Warwick community as part of the legacy of the congress.
Local mural artist Mook Lion, working on a public art project, will create five murals within walking distance of the ICC and the congress.
The idea is “to turn sterile spaces into vibrant areas of cultural interest…to make the public aware of their environment”.
The high-powered congress will also promote architecture as a career through schools, tertiary institutions and outreach programmes.