Nurturing Architecture wins prize.

Johann Boonzaaier’s Architectural Thesis called Nurturing Architecture, has won the 2015  Johann Basson energy effective design prize.

The natural world consists of incredibly complex and integrated systems. Ecosystems and biodiversity all work
cohesively to sustainably maintain the basis of our very existence on the planet. Mankind hugely impacts
“natural systems” through development and “technological systems”. We should learn from natural systems
to resolve development challenges that we currently struggle with. This dissertation focuses on regenerative
architecture. The ecological environment and certain insects in particular, provide us with countless solutions.
The proposed program therefore centers on the research of these insects the implimintation of ecosystems
and how it can benefit the built environment. Towards a future where humans and nature have a mutually
beneficial relationship.

Building Adaption


Educational entomology research facility, insect collection and exhibition.


Centrally located on the eastern border of Pretoria Zoo, north of Pretoria Prinshof
School, south of the Apies River.


There have already been numerous attempts to mitigate impacts of humanity and the
built environment. By the introduction of green and sustainable architecture as socalled
“Green” assessment tools, to control environmental impacts produced by the
built environment. Although these valid attempts are helpful towards slowing down
of the degradation of natural ecological systems (Mang & Reed, 2012), it is regarded
as not enough to heal our already damaged planet and is seen as inadequate measure
for current and future design (Littman, 2009). The intention of this project is to find
new and innovative ways to mitigate with environmental impacts on a micro scale.
Huge benefits can be derived through the studying of nature and combining natural
services [provided by insects] with the built environment to create meaningfull
space. The intention, therefore is to create a habitat for multiple species to co-exist.


The theory behind the intention was a proposition by Folke (2006:259) as a response
to the portrayal of social and ecological systems from the ecological world view. It
states that the environment should be viewed as an integrated social-ecological
system in which humans co-exists with nature as one of its fundamental parts.
Regenerative design is the study of patterns in life, and the creation of new life in
nature. It is a process of a closed -loop-system were no waste is generated. We look
at the environment as a living system organism, which has a purpose and through
identifying the complexities in a place the patterns of life will then reveal itself.
Architects has the opportunity to create life solutions through small architectural


Architecturally this project is a collaboration and a participation with the systems and
processes found in the environment. It will act as a facilitator for nature to provide
the space which will be populated with various insects for research purposes. The
architecture will touch lightly on the existing environment with tectonic structures,
but will also restore destroyed habitats and enhance the natural fabric that once
existed there. The architecture, therefore reconnects the city with the disconnection
of nature.


Entrance render HDR research render HDR Building Adaption nurturing architecture

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