African Design Magazine May 2016 - Page 85

Architects Profile SVA International The South African architectural industry is changing so radically and with such speed that current business practices will be virtually unrecognisable a decade from now. This is according to leading architectural firm SVA International, which has been a major industry player for the past 73 years. Formerly known as Stauch Vorster Architects, the company rebranded after amalgamating with engineering practice GIBB Africa last year to become a multi-disciplinary, BBBEE Level 3 company. SET FOR SIGNIFICANT CHANGES W ith designs on expanding its current continental footprint, the new-look SVA International now has regional offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town with further bases in Lagos, Maputo and Mauritius. Speaking following the relaunch of SVA’s Cape Town offices recently (SUBS: end March), Garth Hamilton, the new managing director of SVA, said “digital integration” would be the definitive driving force behind the new era of architecture and building practice in South Africa. “We anticipate that the changes in our industry and especially the means of production which defined recent years are just the start. The next ten years will usher in a new and more radical revolution. “While innovations so far have fundamentally changed the collaborations that underpinned our industry, the demands of the future – among these being fast urbanising cities, increasing socio-economic volatility, the changing nature of publicprivate ownership, new financial models and systems, artificial intelligence, global manufacturing and space travel – all present scenarios that offer new challenges and opportunities that will add further dynamism to change in our business.” Last month, SVA International became the first practice in South Africa to introduce the A360 Collaboration for Revit software on a national level. Released locally in January, the software ushered in a new era in building information modelling by allowing multiple users to work on BIMs in a live, cloud-based environment. The software has already enabled the Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth offices of SVA to work together seamlessly on several projects. “The next 10 years will see even further efficiencies and effectively make the way we do things now obsolete” – Garth Hamilton, SVA International 85