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Tuesday Jun 28, 2011

Pretoria graduate wins international architectural award

A University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus has said graduates from the university's Department of Architecture are ranked among the best in the world after winning an international award.

Ruann van der Westhuizen, a MAarch (Prof) graduate of the university's 2009 architecture studio, was one of the eight winners of the Hunter Douglas Awards given to the world's best graduates in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture.

The Archiprix Foundation, a network of young, prominent architects, organises the biannual event and for this year's challenge, 1 400 universities worldwide were invited to submit their final year projects.

Van der Westhuizen's project, which proposes a public bath house in Marabastad and investigates the ritual of cleansing in an urban environment, was also nominated as one of the participants' favourites.

This year's award ceremony for the prestigious awards was held earlier this month at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where the 24 finalists participated in a workshop and exhibition hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Van der Westhuizen said he planned to expand his knowledge of the architecture industry by studying further.

He has also been invited to give guest lectures at the university next semester.

The university's Jacques Laubscher, who also co-ordinated the 2009 final year studio, believed the award once again positioned UP's architecture graduates among the best in the world.

This is the forth major accolade awarded to students of the Department of Architecture in the last 12 months.

Jacques Orton's electronic dissertation received the international Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations Award.

Last September Carla Taljaard, Stephen Steyn and Warwick Manley won the Murray and Roberts Des Baker competition.

In February Jankel Niewoudt won the DesignHub Respond-Renew-Revitalise competition in which the department was named the best university participant.

Pretoria News

 
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