South Africa : Nightingale Associates SA to design New Lighthouse

Nightingale Associates SA to design New Lighthouse on Africa's southern-most tip.

The Cape Town-based practice wins a design competition to provide the 'gateway to the continent's southern-most point'.

Nightingale Architects South Africa (NA [SA]) has been announced as the winner of a prestigious competition to design the Agulhas Lighthouse Development. The win is a first-of-its-kind for the recently-formed practice, providing it with the opportunity to expand on its public sector experience.

NA (SA)'s winning entry was designed in response to a brief that called for both a gateway to the southernmost point, and a focal point to Agulhas National Park. Two key features have inspired this design, these being the coastline and a nearby shipwreck.

Nightingale Architects South Africa will work closely with the SANParks, who will act as the implementer of a Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism funded 'Infrastructure Development Programme'.

Wallace Manyara, NA (SA)'s Business Development Director, said: "The design uses strong elements formed by thick dominant walls constructed from local rock, running parallel to and emulating the natural rock formations. The most dominant features of this area are the jagged rocks of the windswept coastline, which lunge out of the waves at oblique angles, appearing and disappearing at intervals at the whim of the sea. "The shipwreck is evidence of the requirement for a lighthouse and an inevitable aspect of the jagged coastline. Elements of the construction are reminiscent of the internal construction of a ship's hull, and the breakdown of building elements symbolise the decay of the abandoned ship battered by the wind, the sea and the passage of time."

The scheme also proposes the use of windmills to harness the power of wind in this exposed coastal region taking advantage of what would otherwise be considered a negative feature.

The practice, which opened in September 2008, is a subsidiary of international architect, Nightingale Associates, which has developed a worldwide reputation for its design of innovative and successful public buildings.

About Nightingale Associates:

Nightingale Associates is a leading practice serving the public sector. It specialises in the fields of health, education and science.

Nightingale Associates is part of the Tribal Group plc

It has eight offices in the UK, as well as one office in Cape Town, South Africa. In September 2008, it also launched an independent subsidiary company, Nightingale Architects (SA) pty Ltd, in Cape Town.

Nightingale Associates' commitment to innovation and research has placed it at the forefront of design developments in areas such as modern learning environments, mental healthcare, environmental sustainability and laboratory design.

In addition to Nightingale Associates' links with regulatory bodies, research institutes and universities, its founder, Mike Nightingale, is a leading advocate of design excellence and is the author of Better by Design - The first Government-backed guide aimed at enhancing the design quality of healthcare buildings.

Testament to Nightingale Associates' dedication to architectural quality is its ability to win design awards, year after year.