Safmarine’s ‘Sport-In-A-Box’ Shortlisted For Sustainable Architecture Award
By Anuja Abraham
An unused Safmarine shipping container converted into a colourful, multi-purpose sports centre in the Western Cape town of Piketberg has been chosen as one of 12 finalists in the 2011/2012 AfriSam/SAIA Award for Sustainable Architecture. The Award - a joint collaboration between South African cement and aggregates producer AfriSam and the South African Institute for Architects (SAIA) – is an biennial event which recognises outstanding achievement in sustainable architecture and aims to create public awareness and debate on architectural issues.
The container-based sports centre – a collaboration between Safmarine in South Africa, Tsai Design Studio and Star South Fruits – currently provides a safe after-school environment for more than 100 children involved in youth development and mentoring programmes run by the Wellington-based Stars in their Eyes Foundation.
According to Star South‘s Marketing Director, Johan van Niekerk: “The Stars in their Eyes Foundation is an innovative football project which combines the joy of football with the alleviation of social problems. The programme was initiated by Freedom Fruit, an international fresh produce brand established by the Dutch fresh produce company, Cool Fresh International.
“Cost savings resulting from Freedom Fruit business partnerships – such as the mutually beneficial partnership between Safmarine, Cool Fresh International and South African fruit exporter, Star South Fruits – are reinvested into the Foundation’s many social upliftment projects.”
The Piketberg sports centre also forms part of Safmarine’s acclaimed ‘Containers in the Community’ programme. In the past 20 years Safmarine has donated more than 8000 decommissioned containers to more than 3000 projects. The majority of these projects are based in South Africa and support education. To date Safmarine has converted containers into schools, classrooms, libraries, crèches and as facilities for educational-based sporting programmes.