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LOUW, Wynand Hendrik

Born: 1883 02 17
Died: 1967 08 21


Reg No: 302
Year registered: 1927

RIBA (Probationer, 1905; Student 1906); CPIA (1927); ISAA (1927); Mem Board of Dir of Nas Pers & VOBI; Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (Honorary Treasurer, 1940).

Wynand LOUW is generally identified as being one of the first Afrikaans architects in South Africa, Gerard MOERDYK being the other. He and MOERDYK were in partnership for five years and the two are considered to have played an important part in establishing an identity for Afrikaners in architecture in South Africa, their own careers coinciding with the rise of Afrikaaner Nationalism in 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. LOUW was born on the farm Labori et Picardi, Suider Paarl, the fourth of eleven sons. He was educated at the Boys' High School, Paarl and at the Normal College, Cape Town (1897-1898.) He spent two years at the Victoria College, Stellenbosch, before being apprenticed to JCE SEELIGER from 1901 to 1905 in Cape Town. In 1905 he went to study at the Architectural Association, London, returning to South Africa in 1906/1907 and setting up practice on his own account in Paarl. It was a difficult time to begin, the depression throughout the country was at its height and by 1908 LOUW had moved to Pretoria to work for the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT until he returned to Cape Town in about 1912. LOUW travelled overseas several times, his several visits to America were important, Roodt (DSAB IV:324) remarks that 'his trip to the United States of America in 1913 strongly influenced his concept of the interiors of church buildings, while on a tour of the same country in 1930 had more effect on his high-rise projects in Cape Town in the early thirties.' From about 1924 to about 1927 he was in partnership with GLP MOERDYK (cf LOUW & MOERDYK) and, although living in Pretoria and Paarl respectively, they shared out work for the Dutch Reformed churches between them. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent. LOUW entered into partnership with his brother HJ LOUW (cf LOUW & LOUW) around 1930 when commissioned to design the SANLAM Building in Cape Town (on the site of the former Ons Land-gebou), setting up an office which became popular with students. WJ attended the International Congress of Architects in Budapest in 1930 and visited America with FM GLENNIE in 1937 as co-architects of the Old Mutual Building, Cape Town. In 1940 WJ was awarded the Medal of Honour for Architecture by the Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. LOUW died at Paarl, leaving his brother HJ LOUW to continue the practice. WH LOUW is best known as a designer of churches amongst which the Dutch Reformed Church at Reitz is often singled out for its arresting design; he undertook many other types of building throughout the country and was particularly interested in the arts and in the preservation of the Afrikaner heritage.

He married Maria, daughter of JC Norval at Norvalspont and they had two sons and two daughters. In 1942 his address was listed as 'Die Hoogte', Suider-Paarl.

Was a recipient of the Medal of Honour for Architecture by the SA Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns in 1940.

See also Wikipedia

(Boonzaaier 1963:18-20; Die Afr-Persrg:942; Du Toit 1953:22-23; Louw 1969; SAAR Dec 1928:130; SAAR Oct 1967:40-41 obit; SAB Nov 1928:67; Van Niekerk 1950:474; Die Afrikaner Persone Register 1942, Voortrekker Pers, Johannesburg, 1942:147)

Wellington: Town hall, proposed conversion of Boys' High School into town hall (CAD M2/1045) 1926; Britstown: Town hall, proposed (CAD M3/880) 1926

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Books citing LOUW

Breedt, JMN. 1947. Gedenkboek by die jubileum fees van die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk. Nieuwoudtville 1897 1947. Nieuwoudtville: Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk. pp

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Coetzee, Abel. 1960. Die Afrikaanse Volkskultuur. Cape Town: Balkema. pp 117

Fisher, Roger & Clarke, Nicholas. 2014. Architectural Guide : South Africa. Berlin: DOM Publishers. pp 29

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp

HSRC. 1981. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume IV. Pretoria: Butterworth & Co (SA) for Human Sciences Research Council. pp 325-325

ISAA. 1959. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1958-1959 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1958-1959. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 93, 208

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp L16b

Kesting, DP. 1978. Afrikaans Protestantse kerkbou : erfenis en uitdaging. Port Elizabeth: Unpublished PhD. pp

Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2012. A Platteland Pilgrimage : 102 country churches of South Africa . South Africa: Booktown Richmond Press. pp 13

Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2015. Church tourism in South Africa : a travel odyssey. South Africa: Self-published by Philippe Menache and Darryl Earl David. pp 139-153

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 162

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1972. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 7 Lit-Mus. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 43

Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pp 196

SAWW & Wooten & Gibson. 1963. Who's Who of Southern Africa 1963. Johannesburg: Wooten & Gibson (Pty) Ltd. pp 486

Chapters in books citing LOUW

Roodt, Leon. Louw, Wynand Hendrik: in 1981. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume IV: pp 324

Silverman, Melinda. 'Ons bou vir die bank': Nationalism, architecture and Volkskas Bank: in 1998. blank______ Architecture, apartheid and after: pp 129