"While planning a First Nations-inspired reconstruction of a Gulf Islands home in 2011, Sean Pearson, founder of the Vancouver-based Rural / Urban / Fantasy / Project, built directly on the foundation of the house's predecessor to minimize the impact on the earth. It's that combination of innovation grounded in conscientiousness that unites RUF's many multidisciplinary projects. From building to landscape to branding, Pearson's work is thoughtfully, tastefully done: for the award-winning Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa, Pearson used locally sourced timber and hired a local artist to design the stadium's requisite security fence, marrying practicality and sustainability without sacrificing aesthetics. Judges Marcia and Lloyd Secter were quick to praise these "well-executed and consistent" endeavours. Although RUF has worked on projects tied to every corner of the globe, Pearson, a native of Winnipeg, aims to maintain a distinctly Canadian approach to his craft. We can't wait to see what's next."
Architecture: Best Commercial Building > 1,000 Square Metres
Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto
Firm: RUFproject, Vancouver
Team: Sean Pearson and Andy Walker with Luyanda Mpahlwa
It’s enough of a challenge to design for social change; rarer still to accomplish such a thing with outstanding results. Yet in the moments of alignment between talent, determination and a client willing to take on the odds, the results make defeat seem like a distant memory. The Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto – commissioned by Nike and designed by RUFproject – is one such example, having been conceptualized and built within just eight months. While that alone is impressive, the fast-track agenda did not undermine the project’s integrity.
Read the full story in the print edition of our July/August 2012 issue