INNOVATIVE SPACE: The interior atrium of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront. Picture: Iwan Baan
Cape Town - Two South African buildings, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) and Empower Shack, have made it onto the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) International List 2018, which features 62 remarkable new buildings in 28 countries being considered for its top prize.

Riba - an international membership organisation that is dedicated to the advancement of architecture - awards its annual International Prize to a building which exemplifies design excellence and architectural ambition and also delivers meaningful social impact.

The Riba International Prize winner will be selected from the Riba International List 2018 - a selection of the world's best new buildings compiled from the entries to the awards.

The prize brings international attention to the most inspirational and significant new buildings created across the globe.

Speaking about the shortlist, Riba president Ben Derbyshire said: “The Riba International List 2018 shines a light on the world’s best new buildings and most impressive architectural talent.

“Most importantly, this significant selection of 62 projects illustrates the meaningful impact and transformative quality that well-designed buildings can have on communities, wherever they are in the world.”

The Zeitz MOCAA was designed by Heatherwick Studio in collaboration with Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects, and resides in a former grain factory with convex windows.

The establishment of the museum came when the V&A Waterfront recognised the significance of its grain silo complex as a historical landmark and, eventually, an art museum on the site was decided upon.

INNOVATIVE SPACE: The interior atrium of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront. Picture: Iwan Baan

Empower Shack, in Khayelitsha, made the list for its use of space design, and not just one particular building. The informal settlement area has, since 2013, been part of a project which aims to reshape the space.

The project seeks to focus on the construction of living environments that integrate livelihoods programmes that encompass micro-financing, renewable energy, water management and skills training.

The long-term goals are to influence a new direction in housing policy and to offer much-needed diversity and access to housing for the gap market.

Other designs that have made the Riba International List 2018 include the BBVA Bancomer building in Mexico City and the Vertical Forest in Milan, Italy.

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Cape Argus