Meet the 1.618 judges for 2021: Phill Mashabane

Phill Mashabane is a renowned South African architect and the co-founder of Mashabane Rose Architect. We have been privileged to have him on the judging panel of the PG Bison 1.618 Education Initiative for more than 10 years now, lending us his expertise built up over more than three decades in the business.

Phill is known for his influence in cultural and heritage sites in South Africa, with his fingerprints and design flair, as well as his understanding of context, evident across landmarks ranging from the Apartheid Museum to the Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum, Robben Island Millennium Museum, Liliesleaf Legacy Project, Mandela House Museum, The Origins Centre, Nelson Mandela Capture Site, and Freedom Park, among others.

Phill is also a commercial and construction arbitrator, an accredited mediator and runs his own production studio. We caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to since the 2020 competition.

What have you been busy with over the last year?

I recently participated in a panel hosted by the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) on the topic of “Is working from home the future or fallacy”.

We are also working on a commission for the design and development of the Museum of African Liberation with its footprint in Harare representing the continent’s 54 countries.

As an architect with a special interest in heritage projects, I’m sure this year’s brief is very appealing to you. What do you think students will find the most challenging about it? 

The students are going to find it very challenging to understand how to knit together and assemble a Heritage Route in fixed environments that may not offer flexibility in terms of town and urban planning.

What are you most hoping to see in the entries this  year?

I’d like to see more innovation in dealing with historical structures or destinations that may or may not be supported by the communities around them (even the interested and affected parties).

I hope that the students will meet the brief, but also be innovative and look closer to the impact of the Heritage Route development.