2019 Fulton Awards Winners And Commendations

The Fulton Awards have grown into southern Africa’s most prestigious concrete accolades. They honour excellence and outstanding achievements in concrete engineering and architecture, creating awareness and discussion around this unique and versatile building material. In the early days a framed certificate was presented to winning entries and a specially designed plaque was awarded to deserving projects to be displayed on the winning structure. For the past number of years, the tangible evidence of the award is the framed certificates issued to the whole project team, as well as a special trophy. This year’s awards see the introduction of new ‘concrete’ trophies for the Category winners, to further illustrate ‘concrete possibilities’. Designed and produced by well-known artist Damien Grivas, these trophies bring an innovative and modern style to the awards. Today, the Fulton Awards continue to recognize and honour excellence in the design of, and innovation in, concrete, and each year we witness the construction of world-class structures and the development of new innovations that have been entered, which easily compete with the best around the globe. The Awards are presented to the entire team that is responsible for producing the structure, or creating the development, including the owner/developer and all associated professionals.

Read on for a summary of this year’s winners and commendations.


Commendation – 37 Commerce Crescent


An adaption of an existing but insignificant industrial building, has transformed the original building into an unusual retail/showroom development. A new floor was added, the existing roof re-used, and a new concrete façade was wrapped around the building, transforming it into a new landmark which contributes positively to the upgrade of the local precinct. The use of simple volumetric forms and in-situ timber shuttered concrete enhances the appeal of the building. Working with a tight budget and short construction period resulted in simplified details, and the rough concrete finishes allow for a poetic play of light onto the building surfaces.

The project is a worthy commendation of the Fulton Award in the ‘Buildings up to 3-storey’ category.


WINNER – 90a Bellamont


The form and siting of the four residential buildings are generated from the sloped site’s sectional development, the prevailing coastal climate, and to maximise views of the Indian Ocean.  The large 3,5 metre cantilever roof overhangs providing shading and rain protection, as well as unfettered interior /exterior spatial connections necessitating long clear spans of nearly 10 m, maximised the potential of off-shutter concrete as both a primary finish and a structural material. This resulted in elegant and contemporary, architecturally- sculpted concrete forms.  Well crafted, the concrete consistently displays highly refined off-steel architectural concrete surface finishes, whether as structural elements, walls, thin roof elements or as polished floor surfaces.


Commendation – 236 Buitengracht Street 

Bounded by heritage buildings on three sides, the five storey in-situ concrete building negotiates its small-scale context through clever proportioning, forms, openings and architectural lines. It was conceived as a three-dimensional structural concrete sculpture which required various structural solutions. A complex multi-functional brief required tightly planned spaces incorporating open volumes and considered circulations whilst maximising the feel of open-plan spaciousness.

Smooth fair-face concrete was achieved with mostly single casts and continuous vertical shuttering, thus limiting cold joints and differential shrinkage. Materials selected allow for a warm-toned concrete which resonates with the patina surfaces of the historical context

Consideration to detail and the quality of the concrete work makes this a deserved commendation for the category “Building over 3 storeys”.

Commendation – Water City – New HO for Water & Sanitation, CTCC

Situated in Bellville, Cape Town, the building integrates the various departments of Cape Town Water & Sanitation into one facility, with ancillary facilities such as an auditorium, canteen, post office and library. The choice of concrete for the building was obvious in terms of the brief, providing the needed space flexibility. The concrete finish is a Grade 2 off-shutter, together with a cementitious coating to create a smooth, durable and economical finish. The sustainability aspects of the building were also notable, with the overall clinker content of the concrete being approximately 62%, and complete on-site water re-use. This building represents a notable and welcome departure from traditional municipal buildings and will become an iconic structure in this Bellville Precinct.

This project is a worthy recipient of a judge’s commendation.

WINNER – Battery Park

Battery Park, at the entrance way to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town incorporates a park and piazza, a concealed multi-level parking facility, as well as new pedestrian routes. The site is also archaeologically important, as it contains the remnants of one of the city’s oldest structures, the Amsterdam Battery.

The inventive use of different concrete elements is notable, including the interpretation pavilion that features a total of 123 precast panels, concrete treads, seats and park benches, and the skate park which was constructed by hand-packing 90 m3 of concrete. The concrete elements are all of very high quality. This project displays the amazing versatility of concrete and shows off exceptionally detailed and finished concrete elements.

This is therefore a deserved winner of the Fulton Award in the “Buildings greater than 3-storeys” category. 


Commendation – N17-1 Regent’s Park Pedestrian Bridge

The Regents Park site where the bridge is located, was especially dangerous for pedestrians crossing the N17. The most economical solution proved to be a 58-metre long main span, self-anchored suspension bridge, with an in-situ concrete deck slab cast on staging.

The project demonstrates excellence in the use of concrete in the following areas:

  • This form of suspension bridge utilises the inherent strength and stiffness of the concrete bridge deck in compression to balance the suspension cable forces.
  • Concrete was used to ensure a durable, vandal-resistant bridge with the suspension cable strands contained within a series of grouted steel pipes.
  • Slender, inclined concrete pylons were used, which are both functional and aesthetic.
  • Self-compacting concrete was pumped upward into the pylon formwork. This was particularly effective in providing a high level of quality assurance to an inaccessible, but critical component of the structure.

This project is a worthy recipient of a judge’s commendation.

WINNER – Sal & Caldeira

An innovative “top down” construction method was used for the construction of a new seven-storey building along a very popular avenue in Maputo. The site had a steep incline and was surrounded by high-end buildings.  One of the restrictive land laws of Maputo is that no anchors may protrude into adjacent properties.  The planned building has three storeys below ground level. Conventional sheet pile walls that can support a three-storey excavation would firstly have been very expensive and secondly, would have extended the construction programme significantly.

Construction costs and time were significantly reduced by using this innovative and successful construction technique, which has had a significant impact on the building construction sector in Maputo.

This project and its contribution to the construction industry is a deserved winner of the Fulton Award in the “Innovation in concrete projects” Category.


WINNER – Norval Foundation

This project showcases a world-class art and cultural centre in an exceptional natural location. It is an impressive blend of concrete, glass, steel and timber, with concrete being the primary element in both the structure and the façade finishes.

The primary internal and external elements are precast smooth and textured concrete panels. The quality and consistency of these panels is exceptional. The innovation relates to the development of the panels, using a rigorous process of testing and sampling to achieve the desired finish, as well as to the sensitive and successful blend of in-situ and precast concrete. The overall impression is a stunningly beautiful building, with excellent use and quality of concrete.

This is therefore a deserved winner of the Fulton Award in the “Innovation in Concrete” category.


Commendation – Origins Rock Art Gallery

The collection of petroglyphs, known for their magical and sacred significance, needed a place of preservation and protection. Situated tightly on a busy urban intersection, the Origin Centre: Rock Art Gallery on the Wits University West Campus has immediately become a landmark engaging both pedestrian and motorist. Called ‘liquid stone’, concrete not only references the rock art but allows for cave-like spaces to be cast.

The off-shutter timber finish adds textured tactility to the bold external geometric forms. This is extended internally to dramatically sculpted interiors supported by structural gymnastics and illuminated in shafts of natural light.

A celebration of concrete as a material, this project is a powerful symphony of form and space. It is worthy of a Fulton commendation in the category ‘Architectural Concrete’.           

WINNER – House La Lucia

The house is a traditional open veranda ‘concrete structure’, facing only the sea to ensure privacy.

Founding the structure on a primary dune required continuous-flight auger reinforced concrete grout piles. The structural system comprises a reinforced concrete framework with precise in-situ cast roof slabs, walls and floors, with close attention being paid to surface details to ensure concrete finishes of an extremely high standard.

The external finish was conceived as a ‘distress concrete’ finish, purposely displaying a honeycombed, pitted travertine–like concrete skin.  This 70-mm in-situ cast skin required a special concrete mix and complex shuttering applied onto the structural concrete wall behind, over insulated bond breaking layers and with stainless steel mesh reinforcement.

The end result and high standard and consistency of concrete achieved allows this project to be a worthy Fulton Award winner in the ‘Architectural Concrete’ category.


Commendation – eThekwini Municipality M25-C9 Underpass

The M25-C9 Underpass carefully negotiates space and level constraints to provide an essential connection between Bridge City and Phoenix Industrial Park in Durban.

The chosen solution consisting of a fully integral bridge, with one curved abutment coupled with an extremely skew deck, presented several design challenges.

The underpass was designed ‘in-house’ by the eThekwini Municipality’s structural engineering branch which also takes ownership and responsibility for its long-term maintenance.

The underpass is an important showcase for the simplicity and accessibility of reinforced concrete construction in a developing country, where the state authorities have a responsibility to support emerging contractors and enable the creation of employment opportunities.

This project is a worthy recipient of a judge’s commendation.

WINNER – New Arch Bridge over the Olifant’s River

The new Olifants River bridge is part of the works for the upgrading of the N7 from a single carriageway to a dual carriageway, in the vicinity of the Olifants River, about 280 km north of Cape Town.  The new bridge is approximately 166 metres long, including a 93-metre long arch.

The Olifants River bridge uses the ancient structural form of arch in an innovative way, giving an aesthetically pleasing modern version of the arch form. The deck profile is constant along the full length of the bridge, and the twin columns and arch result in a less bulky and more open structure. It has some unique design features and construction techniques which make this bridge a testament to excellence in the use of concrete.

This is therefore a deserved winner of the Fulton Award in the “Infrastructure up to R100 M” Category.


Commendation – Kathu Solar Park

Kathu Solar Park in the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s largest concentrated solar plants and contributes 100 MW of electricity to the national grid. Its scale is reflected by the cost of R12 billion, and the considerable volume of concrete – almost 65,000 m3 – in the various structures, which included piling and bases of support structures for the thousands of parabolic reflectors, where accurate alignment was absolutely critical.

Major challenges were posed by the extreme climatic conditions between day and night, and summer and winter, with high ambient temperatures being a particular constraint, and the strict slump requirements specified. With 19 different concrete mixes, concrete was the only material that could fulfil the stringent project requirements.

This project is a worthy recipient of a judge’s commendation.

Commendation – Grayston Pedestrian Bridge

More than 10 000 people per day make their way across the busy M1 highway in Johannesburg from Alexandra Township to the business hub of Sandton. This 5.2 km journey was previously difficult and hazardous for pedestrians. The City of Johannesburg took a decision to commission a new walking route that would make it safer and more convenient for pedestrians.

The Grayston Pedestrian Bridge forms part of the Great Walk project and provides an unobstructed 6-metre wide walkway and bicycle lane along a 298-metre long cable-stayed pedestrian bridge over the M1 Motorway at the Grayston Interchange.

Concrete was chosen as the construction material to achieve an aesthetic-constant smooth deck profile along the entire length of the curved bridge.  Grayston Pedestrian Bridge has immediately become a landmark structure for area.

This is therefore a deserved commendation of the Fulton Award in the “Infrastructure more than R100 m” Category.

WINNER – Maputo-Katembe Bridge

The Bay of Maputo has always separated the city of Maputo from the south bank village of Katembe, and the development of the entire area south of Maputo has consequently been severely retarded. The solution was to construct a 680-metre long suspension bridge over the bay, as well as all the approach roads and interlinking bridges.

Concrete, all site-batched, of the highest quality was used. In total, 340 000 m³ of highly durable concrete was cast and the stringent quality control system required testing of over 51,000 compression cubes, with durability indexes being tested in South Africa.

Many aspects of the bridge pushed design and concrete capabilities to the limit, notably the pylons and bases, the cable anchors, and the balanced cantilever spans that were curved in plan.

This is truly a landmark project that will set a new benchmark for concrete on the African continent and a deserved winner of the Fulton Award in the “Infrastructure > R100 M” category.



Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za