06 December 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Supplied
Stephan Diedericks
Pictured is an overall view of the re-appropriated taxi terminal model by Stephan Diedericks, winner of the 2019 Corobrik Regional Student of the Year Award.

If all works out, Kovsie student Stephan Diedericks could change the face of the Mangaung Metropolitan Muncipality’s transportation facilities and save the city millions in maintenance costs while generating income.

The Masters Architecture graduate designed an innovative model titled An Interminable Living Machine: Humanizing and Re-appropriating the dormant Mangaung Intermodal Transport Facility (MITF) into a living, economic systems of change which won him the Corobrik Regional Student of the Year Award. The awards ceremony was hosted by the UFS Department of Architecture on 22 November 2019 at the Bloemfontein Campus.

A living machine

Re-appropriating the Bloemfontein taxi terminal located in the Central Business District (CBD) which has been non-operational for a few years would mean that the building sustained itself, and acted a power generator both environmentally and economically. 

Diedericks was inspired by the need to improve the quality of life for the people of City of Roses. “This course helped to broaden my perspective on the power of architecture and the social change that it can bring to people's lives,” he said.

An environmentally-friendly concept

According to the young architect, the facility would be water efficient. “Bloemspruit channels run underneath the proposed site and water will be filtered through biologically that will provide water to the entire site creating a self-sufficient living building with water at its heart.”

A thriving economic hub

Diedrick’s 220-page thesis details how the site of the intervention was once home to Bloemfontein’s first power station and that it is this concept of power generation that led him to place clients at the centre of the project as a catalyst for change.  

“The Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise Business (SMME) division of the Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) serves as the catalyst and a power generator that breaks open the solid mass of the MITF. Several subsystems, including aquaponics and SMME training, feed of the main catalyst and in turn provide resources in the form of food and business training to ground-floor users and micro-enterprise users onto latch onto over many decades of growth,” he explained.
A bright future ahead

"The only thing that we have and you don’t is experience,” said Petria Smit, a lecturer at the Department. “Some of your talent far exceeds ours.” During the awards ceremony, she said it was a privilege to work with students of such impressive calibre.

The awards, which were hosted for the 32nd year, are a way for the Department, in collaboration with Corobrik, to reward the talent of students. Diedericks said his win was a great honour and worth the many hours he had sacrificed for this course. Having bagged his master’s, Diedericks’s future plans are to work for the City of Bloemfontein as an architect or on an urban level when an opportunity arises.

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