South Africa : Peter Rich Wins World Building Award - 2009

Peter Rich, the winner of the second World Building Award, has called for architects to serve a broader section of society.

´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,´ he said.

At the awards ceremony, when learning that his Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre had won the top prize, he 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 also said how much he enjoyed the World Architecture Festival ´for its congeniality and friendship. It has been a fabulous visit.´

Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre is sited at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. The Mapungubwe National Park celebrates the site of an ancient civilization linked to the Great Zimbabwe trading culture in the context of a natural setting that re-establishes the indigenous fauna and flora of this region.

The Interpretation Centre is set on the side of a mesa, formed from the dramatic geological events that resulted in the Limpopo River changing its course from flowing into the Atlantic Ocean to discharging into the Indian Ocean.

The ceremonial centre of this civilization is located on a sister mesa, one kilometre away from the site, is the visual climax of the architectural experience orchestrated in the design of the Centre. This is a poverty relief project using ecological methods and materials.

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