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VON BERG, Wilfrid Clement

Born: 1894 10 21
Died: 1978 07

Architect

ISAA:
Reg No: 552
Year: 1932

FRIBA 1934

Was born in Croydon, Surrey, England and was articled to Withers & Meredith. He studied at the Architectural Association in London from 1912 under Robert Atkinson. During the First World War he served as a captain in the London Rifle Brigade, winning the Military Cross. After the War, in 1919, he was appointed an Assistant Architect to the Imperial War Graves Commission and designed more than thirty-nine war cemeteries, among them Bedford House at Ypres, Etretat, Sains-les-Marquion and Ypres Town, Reginald Blomfield being the supervising architect. Von Berg left the War Graves Commission in November 1919 but remained in France, practising at St Raphael where he he designed several villas. He worked for the architect H Goodhart-Rendel on his French estate and designed the Golf Club House at Valescure, a bank for Barque King and the Chateau Gloria at Cap Ferrat, all in the South of France. In 1931 Von Berg came to South Africa, settling in the booming East Rand area of the Transvaal. He was first employed by Gordon LEITH for six months, he may have met Leith while working for the War Graves Commission, and set up independent practice about 1932. One of his first jobs was Perry's Department Store in Benoni which was praised by Cumming-George (1934:65) as an 'outstanding example of modern architecture'. He designed a number of houses, hotels and flats in the pre-war boom. He joined the South African Engineers on the outbreak of the Second World War, in charge of their camouflage unit in the Western Desert and in Italy. He returned to South Africa after the war and resumed practice in the Transvaal. Before 1969 he was joined by FS HALFORD who was based in Durban (cf VON BERG & HALFORD). He retired in 1975 and resigned from the ISAA in 1977.

(FRIBA nom papers (3232) 1934; ISAA mem list)

See his entry on Wikipedia.

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

Writings about VON BERG, Wilfrid Clement

Cumming-George, L. 1934. Architecture in South Africa - Volume Two. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pp 65
Geurst, Jeroen. 2010. Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Rotterdam: 010. pp 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 90, 93, 190, 200, 216, 230, 245, 272, 274, 381, 402, 412, 430, 432
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 99, 192
ISAA. 1969. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1968-1969 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1968-1969. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 103, 136
Stamp, Gavin. 1977. Silent Cities : An Exhibition of the Memorial and Cemetery Architecture of the Great War. London: Royal Institute of British Architects. pp 26

List of buildings:

Cosmo Club, supervising archt: pre-1934. Johannesburg, Gauteng
Country Club, supervising archt: pre-1934. Johannesburg, Gauteng
Dove's Undertakers: c1933. Johannesburg, Gauteng
Hospital: 1939. Sabie, Mpumalanga
Hotel: 1939. Johannesburg, Gauteng
Perry's Stores: 1933. Benoni, Gauteng