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Video: Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre wins World Building of the Year

South African architect Peter Rich is the second winner of the World Building of the Year award, for a building on the site of an ancient civilisation

The World Building of the Year jury was chaired by Rafael Viñoly and included Kengo Kuma, Farshid Moussavi, Suha Ozkan and structural engineer Tim Macfarlane.

Jurors were impressed with a number of schemes, such as the redevelopment of Father Duffy Square in New York and Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit Station in Singapore. Both schemes, they felt, responded to complex urban problems in highly sophisticated ways.

They also admired the winner of the Landscape category, by Chinese architects Turenscape for its imaginative qualities and strength of execution.

But after a lively debate, the jury conceded that the Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre, South Africa, by Peter Rich was clearly the most architecturally and psychologically powerful project. ‘It carries both weight and a message of complexity to the outside world, ’ commented Suha Ozkan.

The jury agreed that the way in which it related to the land and made graceful virtues of the challenging issues of sustainability, politics and social improvement made it a ‘highly deserving winner’.

Peter Rich, said: ‘I am just completely overwhelmed. I am going to continue my quest to be of service to the less privileged. I am going to continue the good fight and take it to the world’

He added: ‘Architects need to be of service to a broader audience and to make changes so that it is not just one per cent of people who can afford to use an architect, and that is what excites me.’

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