Inside SCI-Arc


10.10.11 | W.M. Keck Lecture Hall, SCI-Arc
Luyanda Mpahlwa

Monday, Oct 10, 6pm
W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

Intro by Eric Owen Moss

Luyanda Mpahlwa is an award winning architect and urban designer who started his education in Architecture in South Africa, at the University of Natal in 1978. In 1981, he was arrested and imprisoned for his political activities against the Apartheid Government. After serving a 5-year prison term on Robben Island Maximum Security Prison, he left South Africa and went into exile in Germany, where he pursued further education. He completed his Masters in Engineering Science (Architecture) at the Technical University of Berlin in 1997. After completion, he worked as a freelance architect in Berlin, and served as Project Architect part of a team for the construction of Berlin's 5X Nordic Embassies project for Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Low-Cost Housing, Luyanda Mpahlwa DesignSpace, Africa

After a 12-year partnership with MMA Architects, Mpahlwa established his own firm based in Cape Town, Luyanda Mpahlwa DesignSpaceAfrica. His work spans across major public buildings such as the South African Embassies in Berlin and Addis Ababa; education and health facilities; large scale projects such as the Cape Town International Airport; as well as community projects and facilities.

Mpahlwa's scheme for the 10x10 Low Cost housing project in Mitchells Plein, Cape Town earned him the prestigious 2008 Curry Stone Design Prize, administered today by Architecture for Humanity. His design was recognised for its contribution towards improving people's lives. The project has increased awareness about sustainable and dignified low-cost housing and has received international acclaim through publications in various countries the world over.

In his work and business Mpahlwa maintains a focus on Architecture towards empowering communities and people, and transforming life through design. The two award-winning projects he is associated with are The South African Embassy, Berlin, which received the Award of Excellence from the South African Institute of Architects in 2006; and the 10x10 Design Indaba Low Cost Housing Project, which was awarded the Curry Stone Design Award from the University of Kentucky in 2008.

Besides his architectural achievements, Mpahlwa was part of the technical monitoring team for the construction of 10xStadia for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He also participated in the CNN/Fortune Global Forum Design Panel held in Cape Town in 2010, where he met world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.