“Au naturel” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ”in the most natural or simplest way”.
This is exactly what I experienced when I was asked to be on the adjudicating panel for the Corobrik SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) Awards 2017/2018. What an absolute privilege to be part of this process again and to be flying around the country to view the best buildings completed in the past two years. And boy, did we travel… from Dullstroom to Durban, George, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Worcester, Sedgefield, Kuruman, Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Clarens, Johannesburg and Pretoria!
Most of the architecture we saw exemplified the trend towards “au naturel”. Great care was taken by the architects to follow an authentic, sustainable and efficient approach to design, and to use bricks, concrete, wood, steel and glass in the best possible way. Tremendous respect and concern have been shown for the environment, which gave me renewed hope for this country. It was also cause for optimism that a number of public buildings that are accessible to all were entered into the competition. We are featuring some of the finalists for the awards in this and future issues, so keep an eye out for the articles.
I firmly believe some people are born with great style and then get a whole lifetime to hone, curate and live that style. Juditha Sakinofsky is such a person. She left South Africa 30 years ago because at the time she had to live in a city where there was a Chanel shop. After many years in Toronto and New York, she is back in Cape Town, settled in a small apartment in De Waterkant surrounded by books and art and colourful fabrics and antiques and all manner of beautiful things. This is a sanctuary reflecting a life being lived well. A lesson for all of us.
When I first set eyes on the book President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote on his most magnificent breed of cattle, the Ankole, I bought it immediately. Now, one lucky reader can win a copy of Cattle of the Ages, with photographs by Daniel Naudé, and learn how these majestic beasts made their way to South Africa – have a look on page 178.
I hope this issue is the perfect lead-in to the cooler months.
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