Student wins prize for design of historical quarry

Nelson Mandela University architecture student, Zander Deysel, is the winner of PG Bison’s prestigious 2021 1.618 Education Initiative for his design of the historical Strand Street Quarry as an attractive tourist destination and connection hub along the City of Cape Town’s planned Heritage Route.

Part of the design for the Bo-Kaap quarry.

Mr Deysel won R50 000 in this annual design competition that’s been running for 29 years and which is aimed at third-year architecture and interior design students around South Africa.

“It felt amazing; I was completely blown away. It goes to show that hard work pays off,” said Mr Deysel.

Mr Deysel, who has not been to the quarry himself, did his winning design via online research only and incorporated the history of the chosen site.

“Some of the challenges I faced was the designing of a building in the Bo-Kaap area – as someone from Port Elizabeth I knew nothing about it, as well as designing the Strand Street quarry – both these places have a lot of heritage connected to it,” said the 22-year old student.

“To kick of the design, I first analysed the brief to see what was required of me to design a building that achieved all the client’s needs. After that, I did research on the Bo-Kaap and the Strand Street quarry by means of Google Earth and Google Maps, as well as reading up about them to successfully integrate them into my building. When I finished with the research, I started off with some conceptual sketching; it was a big site for a building that only required a few spatial functions, for example a restaurant and learning centre. To complete the design, I finalised my drawings on computer and was happy with the outcome.

“I designed a building that forms connections with the quarry cliff and represents the local Bo-Kaap community by means of four large pillars – each differently colour-coded. The designed building is a place for social interactions and gatherings, rather than just being a cable car terminal building,” he explained his winning design.

The purpose of the brief was to challenge the 10 students to come up with the best and practical designs. The design is not intended to be executed, said Lian Markham, communications manager at PG Bison.

“The brief was developed by one of the competition judges, Henk Marais, founding member and director at Connect Architects because he knew that the City of Cape Town wanted to ultimately design that site into a tourism destination, but that is not something that has been actioned yet. If the City of Cape Town wants to pursue the design they would speak to PG Bison, Zander, and Henk to investigate it and alternately take the design further,” said Ms Markham.

Zander Deysel, the winner of PG Bison’s 2021 1.618 Education Initiative.