07 October 2010 - Aurecon won a coveted award in the Architectural Category for the Freedom Park Museum, situated on the Salvokop Hill in Tshwane, as well as a commendation in the same category for the Nike Football Training Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto.
The Freedom Park Museum, forms part of the second phase of the heritage development Freedom Park which was initiated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki. With the goal of prompting unity, peace and reconciliation, the site serves as a centre of remembrance of all those who have died in military conflict in South Africa. “The museum is a work of art rich in symbolism,” says Tomme Katranas, Aurecon engineer.
Aurecon completed the structural and civil engineering for the museum. “At Freedom Park, every boulder, every curved wall, every space of reflection is symbolic of the emotions that went into the site’s creation,” explains Katranas.
Structural steel was chosen as one of the primary construction materials, requiring innovative steelwork solutions that include a universal connection system, which allowed maximum flexibility to sculpt complex facade shapes.
“The challenge was to translate intricate, asymmetrical drawings into real-life structures which are durable, cost-effective and practical. Steel was used as a multi-purpose solution for the wide variety of unusual shapes, including the building’s angled frame and accompanying facade,” says Katranas.
The Nike Football Training Centre displays outstanding architectural features which saw one judge remark: “This is a lesson in how to achieve the impossible time-wise. It was accomplished using the ‘A’ team of consulting engineers, the ‘A’ team main contractor and the ‘A’ team of steelwork and other subcontractors.”
Initiated on 14 December 2009, the project was required to be completed by 15 May 2010, in time for the World Cup. “The challenge was to provide a comprehensive design which could easily align with an extremely ‘fast track’ programme,” comments Aurecon engineer Dennis Nash.
In addition, the design had to be flexible enough to facilitate the requirements of the on-going design of the building’s stone cladding and other feature elements. “Steel played a major role in achieving this tight timeframe in that the building’s steel frame could be rapidly erected, allowing ample time for the completion of the rest of the building,” believes Nash.
“Teamwork played a pivotal role in the success of these projects,” comments Dr Gustav Rohde, Chief Executive Africa – Middle East. “We are immensely proud of these wins, not only because of the technical excellence each one involved, but because of the extraordinary degree of collaboration achieved.”
The Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) said that 2010 was a year which featured some of the most outstanding entries since the inception of the Steel Awards, prompting SAISC executive director Dr Hennie de Clercq to say, “perhaps the best ever”.