10+Years 100+Buildings, a critical survey of post-apartheid architecture edited by Ora Joubert, has been awarded the Corobrick SAIA Award for Excellence and a further Award of Merit
10+Years 100+Buildings: Architecture in a democratic South Africa, edited by Ora Joubert
JOHANNESBURG — Every year the South African Institute of Architects, a voluntary association of affiliated and regional
architectural institutes established in 1996, awards projects it feels encourage and recognise good design, or in some way make a significant contribution in the field of architecture. Typically the prize will go to a building.
For the first time in the history of the Corobrick SAIA Awards, both the merit and excellence awards were scooped by a book. Edited by Ora Joubert and published by Art South Africa, 10+Years 100+ Buildings:
Architecture in a Democratic South Africa is a large-scale critical survey of the last 14 years
of architecture in this country, and prompted the adjudicating panel to single it out as “manifestly meritorious”.
Page spread, including architectural drawings
that SAIA encouraged the production of this book and feel that it would be
appropriate for SAIA to acknowledge the exceptional quality of the outcome and its special meaning for architecture in South Africa,” the judges noted.
“10+Years 100+Buildings is extraordinary both in range and significance,” read the final decision. “In the first place, its provenance was unusually democratic and collegial for a profession known for its competitiveness. Secondly, its range of buildings was comprehensive — the objective was not simply to look for ‘gems’ of architectural imagination and production, but to seek out and critique buildings of social and institutional significance. Thirdly, the book has been excellently produced,
the quality of its presentation befitting the seriousness of its
endeavour. Each of the 100+
critiques is thoughtful, well laid out and aptly illustrated. At the same time the volume has a
coherent structure that accommodates a wide range of diverse voices speaking
about a great variety of buildings in markedly different parts of the
The book includes ample colour photographs illustrating the various buildings discussed
“Finally, the book is not
just an attractive compendium of recent work in the country. It has consciously
focussed on the first ten years of South African democracy. Running through the
multiple particular narratives is one organising preoccupation: how are South African architects
responding to the fact that while South Africa is still deeply marked by the
divisions of the past, the country is attempting to transform itself? It does
not purport to offer a single authoritative answer to that question, but
provides a rich and well-organised sediment of material that will stand for
years to come as both a memorial of a key period in national life, and a
nutrient for creativity for future generations.
“The pages of this volume record conversations by South African architects among themselves at the highest critical level. It is wide-ranging in its subject
matter, offers multiple perspectives and is presented in a manner that makes it
accessible to a wide public, both here and abroad. The panel was unanimous in
its view that as a distinctive, comprehensive and eloquent self-reflection by
South African architects on South African architecture at this time of change,
the book deserves an award of merit. It was also of the view that the book fully justified its audacity and qualified for an award of excellence.”
As an addendum to their decision, the adjudicating panel requested that SAIA give serious consideration to offering awards not only in respect of individual
buildings but for projects of urban and rural design that, incorporating architectural
elements, contribute towards making the built environment more humane,
inclusive and sustainable.