Three Masters students in Architecture – Mr Yousuf Vawda, Mr Thabo Cele and Mr Joshua Montile – received prizes during the KwaZulu-Natal Corobrik awards ceremony.

Vawda won the top award and will go on to compete nationally against winners from seven other South African universities in May in Johannesburg.

Architecture lecturer Mr Juan Solis said 20 examiners – 10 external and 10 UKZN staff members – evaluated entries from 27 students over three days.

‘It was a great evening for students, parents, external examiners, professional architects, staff, and our Dean, Professor Ernest Khalema. They could all see the projects on display. Congratulations to our students,’ said Solis.

Vawda, who was surprised by his win, said: ‘I am very pleased to have won, considering the quality of some of the other students’ work.’

His entry comprised work from his internship during which time he concentrated primarily on residential projects as well as selected student projects from his undergraduate and masters studies.

Vawda’s winning project is based on his thesis titled: Exploring the Relationship Between Sacred Space and the Memory of the Dead, in Christianity, through Mnemonics: A Proposed Interment Complex for Durban.

The main concept for the design is based on the medieval term: “Memento Mori”, which means “remember your death”.

Cele, who won third prize, said : ‘It’s wonderful to have my work recognised in this way – it encourages me to work harder to maintain the standard and improve on it. My portfolio contains quite a variety of work: residential, communal, educational and health projects. For the next five years, I hope to do some great work, and improve each time.’

Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo