Nico van der Meulen receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Architecture


Award Award

Nico van der Meulen received a Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in the field of architecture, as well as a notable mention as a finalist for the top 5 architecture firms of the year.

In his acceptance speech, he thanked those who helped him get to where he is today.

“…I know fully well that I would not be standing here tonight without the clients who trusted us to give them functional and beautiful buildings, or the support of the dedicated staff and other exceptional professionals who worked alongside me.
As a farmboy growing up in Limpoo valley reading everything I could lay my hands on, it was impossible to imagine a night like this, but after 46 years of striving to do the best work I could, with my wife Santa working with me, and supporting me every step of the way, I find myself here tonight.
Thank you for believing in me and standing by me when I came home one day 34 years ago and said I am going on my own, all the while we had 3 small children to support.
Few people are as fortunate as I am to have 3 talented sons who married wives in the design industry, with 2 of my sons following in my footsteps.  They are the future of our company.”  said Nico.

Press release from South African Professional Services Awards:


Johannesburg, 2 February 2018

Professionals from various organisations gathered at a gala dinner in Montecasino Ball Room on the evening of 1 February 2018 to honour the best amongst them. The South African Professional Services Awards sponsored by Sanlam were being hosted for the third time after a rigorous process of determining winners through strict criteria.

Sally Hutton of Webber Wentzel was crowned SA’s Best Professional while Paragon Architects took home the Best Professional Services Firm Award. There were winners in different fields drawn from two main categories namely the built environment and commerce law and management.

“These awards are important as they give visibility to disciplines that are desperately needed in this country. They also reward entities for performing well in important areas such as transformation, customer service, contribution to the community and commitment to ethical best practice,” said Gert Bezuidenhout, Regional General Manager – Sanlam Gauteng Region.

KC Rottok, founder and project manager of the Awards, confirmed that there had been greater participation at this year’s events with a significant increase in individual entrants.

“Since hosting the competition the past two times, a greater number of individuals were nominated for professional of the year. They were judged based on a host of attributes including demonstration of leadership skills, changing of paradigms and innovation within the bounds of available resources. We also conferred a number of Lifetime Achievement Awards to deserving recipients who had served their professions faithfully for many years,” said Rottok.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Engineering firm of the year – Bigen

Construction sector firm of the year – PD Consulting

Architecture firm of the year – Paragon

Engineering professional of the year – Welekazi Cele (Hatch)

Construction sector professional of the year – Anthony Afordofe (Akweni)

Architecture professional of the year – Henning Rasmuss (Paragon)

Built environment young professional of the year – Gabrielle Wojtowitz (Aurecon)

Law firm of the year – Bowmans

Big 4 firm of the year – EY

Accounting firm of the year – Sekela Xabiso

Consulting firm of the year – Africa Business Group

Consulting professional of the year – Tapiwa Njikizana (W Consulting)

Law professional of the year – Sally Hutton (Webber Wentzel)

Big 4 professional of the year – Shirley Machaba (PWC)

Accounting professional of the year – Ndumi Medupe (Nexia SAB&T)

Woman professional of the year – Shirley Machaba (PWC)

Commerce, Law and Management young professional of the year – Ayanda Kanana (City of Joburg)

Lifetime Achievement Awards  

Prof. Edward Kieswetter (Alexander Forbes/Da Vinci Institute), Philip Hourquebie (EY/Investec), Dr. Azar Jammine (Econometrix), Mzi Nkonki (Nkonki Inc.), Dr Peter Day (Jones & Wagener), Dr. Pine Pienaar (Nyeleti), Dr. Snowy Khoza (Bigen), Pierre Lombart (GLH Architects) and Nico Van Der Meulen (Nico Van Der Meulen Architects)

Special commendations

SNA Civil and Structural Engineers, Mathieu Du Plooy (WSP), Nonku Ntshona (NNAQS), Lynne Pretorius (ITS Engineers), Louis De Waal (Bosch), Elene’ Olwagen (Boogertman + Partners), Tommy Strydom (Inyatsi), Paul Badrick (Grant Thornton), Nexia SAB&T, Luyanda Mngadi (PWC), Riza Moosa (Norton Rose Fulbright) and Peter Goss (SNG).


You can view their page here:

SASPA (South African Professional Services Awards)

And the full photo album on Facebook here:

SASPA Facebook Page