In 2016 Beta Holdings launched the Architectural Students Competition, which culminated in the announcement of the winners at a prize giving gala dinner held in Avondale on the 23rd of September. The competition is now billed as Zimbabwe’s premier architectural event, which highlights the creative and technical talent of the cream of Zimbabwe’s architectural students. The competition is borne out of a realization that there are very few avenues currently available for students to showcase their talent, with almost all architectural students leaving the country for better opportunities. Our hope as a company is that through this platform, we can not only show the students that there are ample opportunities within the country, but also bring together key industry partners to experience first hand the talent we have locally and create employment opportunities. The future building landscape is dependent on retaining these key skills locally.
The competition, which is held in partnership with the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe and the National University of Science and Technology Faculty of the Built Environment, is a tribute to arguably Zimbabwe’s greatest architect and first black architect, Vernon Mwamuka. The late Vernon Benele Mwamuka, whom the winning award is named after stands out as one of the most prominent architects the country has ever produced, who left a very unique aesthetic impact on the immediate environment, revitalising the surrounding urban expanse as in the case of the Kopje Plaza (West of Harare’s skyline). He is credited as being one of the driving forces behind the call to establish a school of architecture in Zimbabwe- a dream realized through the establishment of the school of architecture at NUST. To this end, the winning student each year is awarded the Vernon Mwamuka shield in recognition of the late architect’s sterling contribution in the field of architecture in Zimbabwe.
A panel from the Institute of Architects develops the competition brief for the Student’s based on an existing challenge that any one architect may be working on. The student’s work under the guidance of an architect in developing the architectural solution which must incorporate bricks and concrete roof tiles as sustainable and economically viable building materials. The winning drawings are currently archived at BETA Holdings, with the long term vision being to find partners and investors who are wiling to take these projects further and turn them into a reality.
The Overall winner, of the Prestigious Vernon Mwamuka Floating trophy, Tinotenda Nyamukapa walked away with $2000.Prince Benny Chipadza won the first prize from Polythechnic College and walked away with $2000 as well. The first runner ups from NUST and Polytechnic College, Muranda Titus and Takura Kadembo received $1500 each, and second runner ups, Thengisani Zhou walked and Roamello Ngwenya walked away with $750 each respectively.
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