Sapoa announces property development winners

Professional property owners in South Africa have voted the new Alexander Forbes head office at 115 West Street, Sandton, as the overall winner at the South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) Innovative Excellence in Property Development Awards 2013.

n a showcase of outstanding property development, Sapoa announced the top performers in a dozen categories at its annual award ceremony, as well as the overall award clinched by Alexander Forbes. It revealed the winners at the 45th annual Sapoa international property convention and exhibition at Sun City recently.

"The winners highlight excellence in design and innovation. They meet today's challenges and tomorrow's needs, and reflect the cutting-edge of design in South Africa and globally," says Sapoa chief executive Neil Gopal. "Besides the quality and originality, it is pleasing to see such strong emphasis on the environment in the designs submitted in this year's record number of entries."

The awards are sponsored by PD Naidoo & Associates, Crane Construction Consultants, Encha Properties, Standard Bank, Dube Trade Port, Remote Metering Solutions and Capital Property Fund.

The award winners were decided by a multi-disciplinary panel of judges who are leaders in their fields. Sapoa awards committee chairman Pieter Engelbrecht says there is a keen and growing response from the property sector.

"The awards highlight property development that is world class and locally relevant. They encourage a built environment that works on all levels."

Besides being the overall winner, Alexander Forbes's headquarters also won in the corporate office developments category. Owned and developed by Zenprop and designed by Paragon Architects, Alexander Forbes is a GBCSA Four Star Green Star-rated building opposite the Sandton Gautrain station. With 2 400 employees using this building every day, it was thoughtfully designed for transparency and a healthy, stimulating working environment.

Winning the commercial office developments category was Sage VIP, developed and owned by Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and designed by Boogertman and Partners Architects. With a GBCSA Four Star Green Star design rating, and an equal number of green stars expected for its "as built" rating, sustainability and green design principles are integral to this building, which is topped by a green roof for urban agriculture and social interaction.

Taking pole position in the retail developments category was Nicolway Bryanston Shopping Centre, developed by Rodrigues Group and designed by MDS Architecture. Providing contemporary convenience shopping this split-level shopping centre is designed for subtle sophistication with an air of minimalism.

Ellerines Port Elizabeth earned top spot in the industrial developments category. This hi-tech distribution facility is owned and developed by Growthpoint Properties and designed by Loudon Perry Anderson Architects. This is the second time that this winning team has clinched the award. Last year it won with the Ellerines distribution facility in the Western Cape.

The Maslow Hotel, developed by Sun International and designed by Dakota Architecture, took top honours in the refurbishment developments category. As Sun International's first venture into business hotels, it undertook a nine-month long refurbishment of the fivestorey hotel, formerly the Grayston Hotel, in the heart of Sandton's business district.

University of Pretoria Engineering III and Aula scooped the award for mixed-use developments. Developed by the university and designed by ARC Architectural Consultants (Pretoria), the redesign of this subcampus included a new entrance, parking, auditoriums seating 1 800 students, hi-tech research laboratories and the upgrade of the main campus theatre, Aula.

Although there was no winner in the "Other developments" category, Thuto Building, developed by the University of Pretoria to provide four 600-seater lecture halls on its Hatfield Campus, was given a special mention merit award.

Vodacom Century City Solar Power was given a merit award in the Innovative Solutions category, for the photovoltaic array installed on the rooftop of Vodacom Century City, which is expected to yield 830MWh of energy a year.

Taking the winning title in the heritage developments category is Freedom Park Phase II, developed by Freedom Park and Office of Collaborative Architects, a joint venture of Gapp Architects and Urban Designers, Mashabane Rose Associates and MMA Architects.

Freedom Park is a memorial and monument narrating the story of South Africa spanning a period of 3.6 billion years and includes a garden of remembrance to acknowledge those who contributed to the freedom of the country.

Waterfall Valley Mature Lifestyle Estate triumphed in the residential developments group. Owned and developed by Century Property Developments, this is the final phase in the Waterfall Hills retirement estate, between Kyalami and Sandton in the prestigious Waterfalls community.

The overall transformation category winner was Afrika Tikkun Uthando Community Centre, which consists of classrooms, offices, parking, a playground and a vegetable garden. Owned and developed by Afrika Tikkun, the community centre was developed in a heritage building - the old Transvaal Memorial Children's Hospital, opposite Constitution Hill. Afrika Tikkun provides education, health and social services to children, young people and their families.

Growthpoint Properties' Lakeside Office Park in Centurion won the overall green award with its design by AMA architects. The building is designed for a GBCSA Four Star Green Star rating. The striking refurbishment gave new life to a tired building, transforming it into modern A-grade office space, and embodies the principles of environmental preservation and liveability.

(Weekend Argus - Sunday Edition)

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