Design24 top designs announced

Media24 | Judy Bryant:



Media24 has revealed the judges’ most favoured designs submitted for Design24, a design competition seeking concept ideas to reimagine and rejuvenate the Naspers Centre on Cape Town’s Foreshore.

“Reimagining an Icon” design by MLB Architects, based in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The prize money of R320000 wasto be awarded to one winner and two runners-up who would receive R200000, R80000 and R40000 respectively. However, none of the designs submitted met all the criteria, and thus do not qualify for an award. Butalthough there was no clear winner, Media24 decided to reward the three favoured designs. “Some of the entries truly reimagined the iconic Naspers Centre, so even though there wasn’t a clear winner we decided to split the prize money equally between the top three entries as recognition of their artistic contribution,” said Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman.

They are, in no particular order:

  • Cape Town-based Tsai Design Studio, whose design titled Urban Sculpture imagined a folded sheath wrapped around the building, with a prominent media wall facing Walter Sisulu Avenue.
  • MLB Architects, based in Cape Town and Johannesburg, whose design titled Reimagining an Icon used glass, mesh and green planting to create an entirely new silhouette for the building.
  • Pretoria-based DBM Architects, whose design titled Roots imagined tangled roots reaching up the full height of the building, in reference to Media24’s 100-year history in Cape Town.

“Roots” design by Pretoria-based DBM Architects

Anika Ebrahim, head of Corporate Communications for Media24, said: “The curators and judges were asked to find three winners from over 90 submissions. While most submissions met different aspects of the brief, we were looking for ideas that would completely reimagine this 52-year old icon. The primary intention behind Design24 was to find striking, inspiring ideas that would transform our head office building to reflect a multiplatform media company on the move. The designs selected have done that, albeit falling short of the cost criteria.”

The competition drew 94 entries from architects and designers across South Africa, in response to a brief that called for ideas to rejuvenate the building’s exterior façade. Entries were judged by two panels and were assessed against six criteria: aesthetic value, sustainability, cost, technical feasibility, buildability and, lastly, a reflection of all four World Design Capitalthemes. Design24 is an official World Design Capital project.

“Urban Sculpture” by Cape Town-based Tsai Design Studio

Eightfinalists and ten ‘cool ideas’from the entries were revealed and displayed and the top three entries were announced at a function on Nasdak, on top of the Naspers Centre, on Friday night. Weideman said: “We thank the many architects, graphic designers,artists, industrial designers, urban planners, students and even a journalist who took part in this exciting competition. We were inspired by the imagination and creativity ofmany of the designs. Our implementation team will now be tasked with the challenge to find the best design solution – which could include elements of the top three designs – within our modest budget. Though this is the end of the competition, it is only the first phase of the exciting journey to reinstate our buildingas an icon of the future Foreshore.”