THE K-RITH Tower Building on the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine Campus received national recognition at the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) Awards.
The SAIA awarded the K-RITH Tower Building, which was designed by FGG Architects, a Corobrik-SAIA Award of Merit at its awards evening recently.
The SAIA’s awards of excellence and of merit are the highest local recognition of distinction in architecture and are judged by a national panel of jurors.
Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) is the anchor tenant of the K-RITH Tower Building. The Institute has some of the continent’s most advanced laboratories, where scientists work to better understand, treat and ultimately cure HIV, tuberculosis disease and related illnesses. AHRI’s sophisticated laboratory facilities include 600m² of biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) space – which allows researchers to work safely with air-borne diseases like TB. The eight-floor building also houses several other biomedical research centres.
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AHRI’s chief operating officer, Costas Criticos, said: “From its earliest conception the K-RITH Tower Building was a project which was carefully planned and designed to meet every eventuality, including the building’s resilience to earthquakes and the protection of the researchers and campus community from dangerous pathogens. Every detail was considered in terms of its functionality to enable TB and HIV scientific research, and yet it is a building which is also beautiful and uplifting. I feel very proud to work in such an iconic building which has architecturally unified the campus and has given it a significant centre of gravity.”
“We are proud to have designed the K-RITH Tower Building, and it is a great honour to receive recognition from one’s peers for our work. It was an exciting opportunity to create structures that would transform UKZN’s medical school grounds from a congested collection of dated buildings and parked cars to what it is today. Despite the many challenges imposed by a cramped site and the technically complex nature of the building, the K-RITH project was able to create additional open space on campus and deliver world class facilities to aid in the combat of far greater challenges faced by mankind,” said Jeremy Hathorn from FGG Architects.
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