University of the Free State (UFS) student Samuel Pellissier is the regional winner of the 32nd Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award. Pellissier is one of 8 young architects from major universities around the country who will be recognised for their talent an innovation this year.
The young man will have the opportunity to erect his thesis model at the Maslow Hotel in Johannesburg for judging at the prestigious finals. His dissertation is entitled Lamu: An Architectural Investigation of Time and Place.
This comes after he visited the World Heritage site of Lamu in east Africa in 2017. Pellissier stated that the ancient Swahili port city resonates with the rhythms of time, and the rich culture of its people identifies the place.
As an outsider, Pellissier became a student of the ways of Lamu, the religion, the lifestyle and the culture, with specific interest in the traditional methods of Dhow-building and donkey transportation. The aim was to design an architectural response that accommodates these methods, while respecting the cultural heritage.
His consists of dry-docks for Dhow repairs and building, a workshop for finer crafts such as sail making and furniture weaving, and a sanctuary for donkeys to be looked after.
According to a statement the remote location of Lamu provided practical challenges which were resolved by using building techniques and materials known to the island in a newly imagined way that aims to inspire, rather than prescribe. The project has aspired to portray something similar to Breyten Breytenbach’s theory of the “Middle world”, an inbetween place that accommodates the dweller where he might find himself between land and see
The winners of each regional competition will then go head to head for the national Architectural Student of the Year Award and prize money of R70 000. This will be announced in Johannesburg on 7 May 2019.