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FISHER, Roger Charles

Born: 1951 02 02

Architect

SACA:
Reg No: 3329
Year: 1983


References

BArch 1983 (Pretoria) - Final design title: Durban Station Re-Used; MArch 1989 (Pretoria) Architecture: A Paradigmatic approach to architectural history: postmodernism; PhD 1992 (Pretoria) Architecture: An ecosystemic role for architectural style: bearing 'the plan' in 'mind'

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Was born in Rondebosch, Cape Province (now Western Cape), eldest son of three sons and two daughters to Roger Edward William Fisher (alias Valentine) and Kathlyn Amelia Fisher (nee Symmonds). His primary schooling was at Bellville North Primary (1957-8; a parallel medium school, declared Single Medium Afrikaans from 1959), Bellville South (1959; English Medium school declared 'Coloured' from 1960) and Boston Primary School (1960-1963; opened in that year as English Medium). In 1964 the family transferred to Pretoria where his father took up a position as Draughtsman to the South African Railways and posted to the NZASM Headquarters Building in Pretoria (then the tallest building in the city). Here he attended and matriculated first class from Clapham High School (1964-1968). His subsequent career was somewhat chequered, initially floundering in first year of medical studies at the University of Pretoria (1969). He had spent some months before this archiving files in the basement of the Transvaal Provincial Administration Headquarters Building (Dec - Feb 1969) of the records of bye-laws promulgated in all towns from Amersfoort to Zeerust in the then Transvaal Province. He spent time as a Junior Life Sciences Officer with the Atomic Energy Board (Pelindaba) although he was based at the Pathology Laboratory of the University of Pretoria Medical Campus while much of the experimental work was conducted at the Radio-isotopes Laboratory of the Onderstepoort Veterinary Sciences Research Station (1969-1972). He later transferred as Junior Laboratory Assistant (1972-3) to the Desalination Laboratory of the Water Research Unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Here he acted as guinea pig to alternative test banks for career-guidance and chose from the possible directions of hotel management, radio broadcasting and architecture as career directions indicated by the results and applied and gained admission to architectural studies at the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria, from where he graduated with a BArch degree in 1982.

During his studies he had worked as a counter assistant in Chamberlain's Hardware Store in Gezina, Pretoria, done holiday work (1974-5) in the employ of Martin ENGELBRECHT in Randburg and gained further practical experience as student in the Gezina offices of MOERDYK STUCKE HARRISON SERFONTEIN VILJOEN AND PARTNERS under the partner Francois VILJOEN.

From 1980 to 1983 he spent time doing practical training in the offices of INDEX DESIGN under the directorship of Savas COUVARAS, where many of the projects were tenant installations for Old Mutual Properties, both in Johannesburg and the East Rand industrial areas as well as Pretoria. Notable Projects were the refurbishment of St Mary's Arcade, Johannesburg (1981) and President's Centre, Pretoria as well as extensions to Bandag Tyres in Marlborough, Johannesburg.

He and Renier SMIT set up partnership in 1982 and practised under the name SMIT & FISHER ARCHITECTS until June of 1986. Here they designed amongst others, Castle Carey in Pretoria North, many alterations, additions and new residences including House Kahn in Menlyn, Pretoria.

In June of 1986 he terminated the senior partnership with SMIT & FISHER ARCHITECTS and remained as consultant to the practice.

In July of that year he was appointed as junior lecturer in the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria, where he taught across the curriculum from first year to final (fifth) year level in architecture in the subjects of history, theory and construction. He led and presented design studio modules in each of the five years of study in the term of his appointment. He developed the curriculum for teaching of principles for sustainability at honours and taught master's level. As lecturer he conducted regular annual bus tours for the history group to various regions of South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Mocambique as well co-leading a student tour with Karel BAKKER to Greece and Italy in December of 1988.

Roger FISHER was granted observer status as representative of the Pretoria School of Architecture at the 14th General Assembly of the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) held in Mauritius in April of 1994, directly after the establishment of a first full South African democracy. While there news came through of South Africa's re-admission to the Commonwealth. He negotiated an immediate visit of the CAA for September of that year as a joint visit of the pending accreditation visit of the South African Council of Architects (SACA). The Pretoria School of Architecture was thus the first school in South Africa under the new political dispensation to have international recognition reinstated by the RIBA through mutual accords.

In 1996 he was tasked with the curriculum development of the professional courses in the Architectural Design disciplines on offer at the University of Pretoria, then to be integrated into one Department, namely Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture to ally them with the revised Council for Higher Education (CHE) models, as well as the requirements for the new professional registration categories of the South African Council for the Architectural Profession. His contribution is recognized through his having served on the steering committee of the Standards Generating Body for Architecture (SGB 12) and the Validation Committee of the South African Council for the Architectural Profession.

His ongoing professional expertise is engaged in doing Heritage Impact Assessments and major studies have been done for the Old Pretoria Academic Hospital, and in association with Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and the Free State Psychiatric Complex. He has directed a project for the digitization of all architectural archival material deposited at the University of Pretoria and made accessible through UPSpace. This is an ongoing project and the architectural archiving one of the inception repositories and a model for other such programmes.

He participated in the Environmental Potential Atlas project (ENPAT) done for DEAT in providing information at national scale relating to architectural cultural landscapes. He has acted as assessor of both requests for funding and ratings for the NRF and has launched a successful bid for seed funding from SERA for a project for the creation of baseline performance indicators for the SA built environment. He acts as external examiner to fellow institutions in various subjects and portfolio examinations and has been external examiner for Master's studies. He has contributed essays for texts for books related to South African architecture for international audience.

He has led doctoral studies by BARKER, BREEDLOVE, COETSEE, GIBBERD, KAMMEYER, SAIDI.

He has acted as scribe to the Awards Panel of the South African Institute on numerous occasions and authored numerous critical citations on current South African architecture which is published, both in the SA Architect and those of the two most recent rounds of National Awards of Merit and Excellence (2005/2006; 2007/2008) compiled as a book.

He reviews contributions to local academic journals, in particular the 'Journal of the South African Institute of Architecture', 'South African Journal of Art History' and 'Image and Text'. He has been guest editor or co-editor for special issues of 'Architecture SA', in particular the volumes '29th Parallel', 'Tropic of Capricorn' and 'The SA Mosque Centenary'.

He has acted as Pro Bono advisor to the Northern Gauteng Region of the National Monuments Council and currently serves as Councillor to the Mpumalanga Province Heritage Council. He acts as heritage consultant to Archifacts and to the Artefacts website in his private capacity.

His interest lies in the making of well-tempered environments through generative design that has eco-systemic fit of provable resource efficiency. His interest in architecture as a phenomenon of culture within the ecosystem is enduring, as in the innovative and resourceful use of materials and technologies so that the needs of the broad community be aesthetically satisfied.

He currently resides in the Heidel Valley at White River, Mpumalanga Province where he cultivates ennobled Clivia hybrids He edits the newsletter (Clivia News) and Yearbook (Clivia) of the Clivia Society (an international society based in South Africa) and has recently co-authored a book 'Clivia - Nature and Nurture' for Briza Press.

Roger FISHER is Professor Emeritus at the University of Pretoria.

In 2010 he was the recipient of the Writers and Critics Award from the South African Institute of Architects, "The Writers and Critics Award is presented to Roger Charles Fisher in recognition of his deep knowledge of South African architecture and its links with international and local contexts, his astute powers of architectural evaluation and criticism, his ground-breaking implementation of innovative training programmes and broadening of the scope of training for the architectural profession, his prolific writings on South African heritage, his contributions to practical conservation by means of incisive technical reports and seminal conclusions, all of which has established him as one of the great figures of architectural writing, criticism, research and education in the country."

2013 10 04

The Heritage South Africa Gold Medal, the most prestigious award recognising achievement on a national level, was bestowed on Dr Roger Fisher. Below is the citation that accompanied the Medal:

"Roger Charles Fisher was born in Rondebosch in the Cape Province where he commenced his education. He moved with his family to Pretoria in 1964 where he completed his schooling. After a varied early career he registered at the Department of Architecture where in 1982 he obtained his degree of Bachelor of Architecture. After a brief spell in private practice, he joined the academic staff at the University of Pretoria in 1986. There he read for his doctorate. On his retirement he was made an Emeritus Professor.

In 1997-1998 Dr Fisher was tasked with the major challenge of developing an integrated curriculum for the Professional Courses in Architectural Design and the Departments of Landscape and of Interior Design. This had to be aligned with the requirements and validation of National and International Bodies.

His interest in architecture 'as a phenomenon of culture within the ecosystem, and in the innovative and resourceful use of materials and technologies so that the needs of the broad community are aesthetically satisfied,' incorporates his love of heritage and history within the built and cultural environment.

In his curriculum development at the University, Dr Fisher included the ecology of the past and the present built environment as an important component. This has inculcated an insight into and appreciation of heritage in several generations of students, extended through his personally conducted annual student history and design tours covering heritage in all provinces.

Possibly his greatest contribution to heritage during his tenure at the University was his conception and direction of the project for the digitiisation of all architectural archival material deposited at the University of Pretoria and for making it accessible through UPSpace . This is an ongoing project and makes the architectural archive one of the inception repositories and a model for other such programmes.

Since his retirement, Dr Fisher has continued this process in his private capacity with the establishment of his website ARTEFACTS in which all aspects of the built environment are being documented and made accessible on the web.

He has acted as Pro Bono advisor to the Northern Gauteng Region of the National Monuments Council and currently serves as a Councilor to the Mpumalanga province Heritage Council. He has participated in the Potential Atlas project (ENPAT) done for the DEAT in providing information at national scale relating to architectural cultural landscapes.

Dr Fisher has contributed to practical conservation by means of incisive technical reports and seminal conclusions all of which have established him as one of the great figures of architectural writing, criticism, research and education of both past and present in this country. His prolific writing was recognised by the South African Institute of Architects with the award of a Gold Medal."

At a ceremony held at the Voortrekker Monument on 7 November 2011 he received a PIA award for the book Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa.

Heritage Surveys and Policies

Date Capacity In Association Client Description Document Type
1988 University of Pretoria Schalk LE ROUX Municipality of Heidelberg Conservation survey of Heidelberg town centre Published Report
1990 University of Pretoria Schalk LE ROUX Municipality of Middelburg, Mpumalanga Conservation survey of the Motse, Botshabelo Published Report
1997 Private Mauritz Naude for National Cultural History Museum Pretoria [Tshwane] Greater Metropolitan Council Listing of buildings of Architectural Interest in the Pretoria Metropolitan Region Annotated List
2000 Private Nico BOTES, Nicholas CLARKE DPW and SAHRA Conservation Policy for Mahlaba Ndlovu Published Report
2000 University of Pretoria Schalk LE ROUX Ermelo Transitional Council and SAHRA Preliminary Survey for Conservation Policy, Ermelo Published Report
2001 University of Pretoria Schalk LE ROUX Middleburg Transitional Council and SAHRA Conservation Policy for the Botshabelo, Middleburg Published Report
2001 Private Francois Erasmus General Smuts Foundation and SAHRA Conservation Policy for the Smuts House Museum, Irene Document
2001 University of Pretoria Gwen BREEDLOVE [THERON] Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Heritage Management Parameters for Environmental Potential Atlas (ENPAT) Electronic CD set
2001 University of Pretoria Gwen BREEDLOVE [THERON], Nicholas CLARKE Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Architectural Heritage Database for Environmental Potential Atlas (ENPAT) Electronic CD set
2005 Private VDO City Props HIA for 'Tiny Town', Pretoria HIA and Permit application to the PRAH-G
2005 Private Nicholas CLARKE, Archaeologists of AMASA; HELENE POTGIETER ARCHITECTS Doctor and Advocate van den Boudt Heritage Impact Scoping Report for the farm Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal (also known as Jabulani) Report taken up into HIA submitted to Amalfa, KZN
2006 University of Pretoria Nicholas CLARKE SANParks Augulhas National Park heritage sites: preliminary report covering the sites:
Soutbos
Bosheuwel
Soutpan Salt works
Renosterkop
Ratel Rivier
Bergplaas
Report
2006 Private Abertus CROUSE for MMA ARCHITECTS SPOORNET Application for alterations and renovations to Old Station Master's House, Pretoria Central Station Remainder of Portion 170 Pretoria Town & Townlands No 351-JR Portion 364 Permit Application to PHRA-G
2006 Private The architectural consulting firms LEAP and MMA ARCHITECTS Department of Health and Welfare Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) report for the Old Pretoria Academic Hospital (previously the HF Verwoerd Hospital, originally The Pretoria General Hospital) Permit Application to PHRA-G
2006 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS AFRICON Heritage Survey Report for the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Report to consultants
2006 Private Nicholas CLARKE TOPBOU KONSTRUKSIE Heritage Impact Assessment: Candlewoods Estate (Louwlardia Extension 34), the restant of the original Brakfontein Farmstead (Erasmus Farm), Centurion, Tshwane HIA and permit application to PHRA-G
2006 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS; BLACKIE SWART ARCHITECTS Heritage Impact Assessment: Old Findlay Farmstead: Xanadu Eco Park, Hartbeespoort HIA and permit application to PHRA-NW
2007 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS; MMA ARCHITECTS POWA [People Opposing Women’s Abuse] Permit application for alterations to: 1095 and 1097, Berea, Johannesburg Permit Application to PHRA-G
2007 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS; LEAP Department of Health, Free State Province Adaptive re-use of some of the existing utility structures and wards and annexes associated with the Free State Psychiatric Complex (Also known as Oranje Hospital) in the Oranje suburb of Bloemfontein HIA and Permit Application to PHRA-FS
2007 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS; URBAN SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT HIA: HIA: Erven 716 and 717 Parktown Extention redevelopment, Johannesburg HIA and Permit Application
2007 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS; URBAN SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT HIA: The Siding Residential Development, Newtown for Urban Solutions Architects HIA and Permit Application to PHRA-G
2008 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS Church of Scientology HIA: New Church of Scientology, Church Street, Arcadia, Pretoria HIA and Permit Application to PHRA-G
2008 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS Joybee (Pty) Ltd. New Residential Development, Belvedere Street, Arcadia, Pretoria Report to Client
2010 Private Nicholas CLARKE for ARCHIFACTS/ principal agent AURECON SAHRA Assessment and heritage management recommendations as part of over-all property management proposal for properties in the National Estate being part of the SAHRA property portfolio Report to Client
2010 Private JP Celliers (Archaeologist) for Kudzala Antiquity; Enpact Environmental Consultant Demolition of Bridge no. 690 for the widening of the N4 National Road, Section 7B, Near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Recommendation Report for Phase 1 Archaeological Impact Assessment
2011 Private Dawn Green for Yezinyanya Research cc Joe Qqabi District Municipality A register of all historical buildings, cultural landscapes and other resources in Barkly East and the district.

A list of potential heritage sites for grading as historical sites/monuments.

An architectural study resulting in an assessment of historical buildings on farms within the Barkly East district and in the town of Barkly East.

Guide recommending building specifications for new structures and prototypes to preserve Historical buildings in Barkly East and surrounding district.

A Heritage Management Strategy and Implementation Plan for the town of Barkly East and surrounding district.

Historical data to produce tourism marketing literature for the town of Barkly East and surrounding district.
Surveys and Reports
2011 Private Dawn Green for Yezinyanya Research cc Joe Qqabi District Municipality Formation of project steering committee and approval of project programme

Situational & needs analysis

Heritage & display analysis

Monitoring & evaluation

Establish heritage display objectives

Establish unique ways in which museum can display this heritage

Redesign museum interiors for displays

Establish exhibition & lecture plan for museums

Monitoring and evaluation

Meet with tourism stakeholders

Identify tourism & heritage products to establish linkages

Establish tourism policies and integration

Monitoring and evaluation

Identify training needs

Identify training institutions to meet museums training needs

Develop capacity building programme

Monitoring & evaluation

Budget developed for regeneration

Identify sources of funding

Design implementation strategy

Complete heritage & tourism strategy

Monitoring & evaluation
Photographic and measured plans of existing facilities.
Report
2011 Private Artefacts SAHRA 'Krugerhof' Waterval Onder, Mpumalanga: Schedule Of Repairs & Restorative Maintenance Document – Schedule of repairs

Professional Affiliations, Membership of Panels and Committees:
2014: SACAP Education and RPL Committees
2012: Chair - Advisory Visiting panel to Department of Architecture, FADA, University of Johannesburg
2011-current: Chair and Member of the NMMU School of Architecture Advisory panel
2011-2013: Chair Mpumalanga Heritage Resource Agency Permit committee