Karuni Naidoo has led CNN Architects, a Durban based architectural practice since its inception in 1995. Looking back she credits her success to her ability to overcome challenges, her positive attitude to life, focus, discipline and perseverance.
With 26 years of experience, Karuni now manages a practice which has successfully completed many projects that have contributed to building communities in the new South Africa. These include housing, schools, hospitals, clinics, police stations, and other institutional buildings, many of which are in in townships and rural KZN. She is involved in all aspects of the practice, and leads by example. Whist enjoying her successes, Karuni is reminded of the many obstacles to women’s equality that still exist in South Africa.
Sonja Petrus Spamer
Sonja Petrus Spamer is a practising architect with a focus on social projects.
A merit award she received from the South African Institute of Architects for a private house likened the building to “two finely crafted Paradise Flycatchers’ nests—nestling in the trees and exemplifying an environmental awareness through its very structure”.
She earned a BAS with distinction and a BArch with a first class pass from the University of Cape Town, where she is currently registered for an MPhil. She lectured in design for eight years at UCT’s School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics. As a staff architect at Jo Noero Architects, she worked on a range of education and community buildings, a specialisation she has retained.
Over her 15 years in architecture Nadia has worked at some of the most prestigious firms in South Africa, including that of Joe Noero and later as a director at Paragon Habitat Architects before starting Ntsika Architects, one of the few black-owned female practices in the country.
Projects which deserve mention are the Yeoville Recreation Center and the Corridors of Freedom Clinics. An extract from of vision statement:
Ntsika Architects is a design-driven practice that strives at becoming a ‘model of excellence’ in every respect of design and business. We are committed to designing great buildings for our clients and improving the environment for the end-users and greater public. We believe that good design transforms the quality of the environment and aim to provide an architecture that is innovative, sustainable, an imaginative response to context and a pleasure to experience. Our approach is not about style, but about analysing, understanding and responding to the brief and the site in a way that leads to unique, often unexpected solutions. We define problems with great care. We identify opportunities with boldness of vision. We believe that successful projects come from good design and great teamwork. Our approach is underpinned by a strong commitment to quality - of people and processes - at every stage from concept to delivery. We put integrity at the heart of our practice.
Our philosophy is to provide an architecture that is humane, accessible and a delight to experience. We cross the boundaries of sector definitions through our depth and breadth of experience in many different areas.
We continue endeavour to bring meaning to architecture in the communities in which we work. We are currently in the process of designing transformation development centre in Westbury. This building will incorporate green planted walls, planted roof gardens, rain water harvesting and a green house. The community will be involved in a six month process of nurturing micro-gardens which will make up one of the main green wall facades of the building. This sub-project is initiated, partially funded and co-ordinated by Ntsika Architects. It is imperative that communities feel ownership of their facilities and this is one initiative which we hope will encourage that. The City of Joburg is also invested in community participation and the local labour force is given the opportunity to participate in the project during construction.
We are also involved in two flagship projects for City of Joburg. The first is the Orchards Primary Health Care Facility and the second is the CYDNA depot. These projects are of top priority to the mayor and we are honored to be championing those projects. The Orchards Clinic is under construction, due for completion in June 2016. We are currently designing and will start construction of our 11th and 12th Clinic in January 2016.