School of Built Environment & Development Studies

UKZN Architecture Students Win at PG Bison Competition

Three third-year Architecture students, Ms Fathima Bibi Mula, Mr Navan Padayachee and Mr Oudish Appadoo, dominated in the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative in which students across the country were tasked with devising a plan to redevelop the historic Johannesburg Gas Works building.

The students formed part of 10 finalists out of over 110 submissions from 28 local architecture and interior design schools in the country.

Padayachee scooped first place, winning a trip to Milan, Italy, for his design that incorporated the new thinking behind a modern city and converting it into a beacon that encourages community interaction, historic architectural preservation, environmental awareness and healthy living. He is thrilled to have won; earning him his first trip overseas. ‘The initiative gives students more recognition for the good work that they produce. This is a big boost. Not only do students get excited about this competition, they push themselves further when it comes to these projects,’ he said.

The three students are passionate about art and their chosen profession. Said Padayachee, ‘I wanted to be involved in the construction field, yet I also wanted to incorporate my artistic talents and explore this further so I turned to architecture as I felt that this was a combination of both. In this field, I get to turn visions into reality and not many people have this opportunity in their respective fields.’

Speaking about his love for architecture, Mauritian Appadoo said, ‘The most beautiful aspect of architecture as a profession is how the industry embraces the individuality of each person. Of course, designing buildings is in itself a fulfilling creative pursuit but even beyond that, you are allowed, and in fact encouraged, to have a style which can manifest beyond your work.’

Mula, on the hand, added, ‘I’m always fascinated with the way different cultures express themselves in different ways and how that relates to the built form. Art, history- along with architecture, are definitely my go-to before anything else.’

Their lecturer and Academic Leader for Architecture, Mr Lawrence Ogunsanya, is proud of them and the hard work they put in. ‘This win, amongst other winnings from other students in the department, validates the hard work and vision as an academic leader and by academic staff. It shows that the department of Architecture at UKZN is a notable and reputable School with a rich heritage to study architecture because our students have been winning local and international design competitions for the past two years,’ he said.

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