WSU’s collaborative project, the Phyllis Ntantala Library is the recipient of this year’s South African Institute of Architects Border Kei Regional Award – the highest honour at its level.
The Phyllis Ntantala Library is an R200 million joint initiative amongst the province’s biggest universities including the University of Fort Hare and the University of South Africa.
The library was officially opened in East London on, 27 October 2018, by former Higher Education and Training minister, Dr Naledi Pando to service in excess of 2500 students at any given time.
“In the conceptualisation of the building, the aim has always been to ensure that the end product must at all times provide humane, user-friendly and inclusionary atmosphere,” said Ngonyama and Associates project leader, Silindile Ngonyama.
The words and intention of Ngonyama & Associates vision ring true when entering the facility that provides for palpable social interactive spaces on all floors and boasts breath-taking city, ocean and harbour views to the user’s delight.
“As an architectural piece, we believe that this project embraces Vitruvian principles of good architecture which are firmness, commodity and delight. This project has not only ticked all the Vitruvian good architecture principles, but has also ensured ecological and inclusionary sustainability for her user and recipient community,” added Ngonyama.
According to Ngonyama and Associates, the projects submitted for consideration were those completed from January 2017 to December 2018.
“Recognition is given to such building projects where the opinion of the adjudicating team demonstrates good architecture. Then an eminent non-architect to adjudicate on projects submitted by professional registered architects,” added Ngonyama.
The library is named after the late Eastern Cape-born political activist and scholar, Phyllis Ntantala.
She is also the mother of the prominent politician and thought leader Pallo Jordan and wife to critically acclaimed isiXhosa literature author, Archibald Campbell Jordan.