Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre by Peter Rich Architects won the very prestigious World Building of the Year award at the World Architecture Festival. Celebrated in Barcelona last night, the building is designed as a museum for prehistoric artifacts in South Africa. It is a monument to community architecture; as acknowledged by the Festival’s press release:

The project is underpinned by a strong social programme, using the skills and labour of local people and involving them in the design and construction process. Judges praised the project for its roughness and hand-crafted intelligence. They also admired the way in which it handled issues of sustainability and its relationship to the landscape.

Here are the photos:

from Dezeen.

It is reminiscent of the Querini Stampalia by Carlo Scarpa with all those brick arches and light:

Scarpa also employed (though a very specific set) local craftsman to shape everything that went into the buildings; which gives your eye so many gorgeous items to catch. Never gaining the title of architect since he lacked the schooling, his buildings have a tremendous appeal. Employing individualized craftsmanship might just be what the renovations of the mill buildings below are missing….

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