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Established: 1921
Ended: 1935


This partnership existed from about 1921 between NT COWIN, EM POWERS and TG ELLIS. Ellis was in charge of the Pretoria office while Cowin and Powers were in charge of the Johannesburg office. In 1923 they won the competition for the Synodical Hall in Cape Town and in the same year they were placed second to EMLEY & WILLIAMSON in a competition for the Chemistry and Physics Block for the University of the Witwatersrand. They were appointed joint architects with Emley & Williamson for the building. The partners opened an office was opened in Durban in 1925 with AF LAWRIE in charge. Lawrie returned to Pretoria in 1926 and Powers went to live in Durban and took over this office. In the same year the firm submitted an unsuccessful entry in the competition for Pretoria Town Hall.

The firm was responsible for a large number of buildings in the Transvaal among which were some picturesque buildings such as the Cuthbert's building in Andries Street, Pretoria (c1930). The partners were successful in the competition for the Roodepoort-Maraisburg hospital in 1930 and won the competition for the Edward Vlll hospital for non-Europeans at Congella, Durban in 1932. They were placed third in the competition for the Benoni Town Hall in 1934. The partnership was dissolved in November 1935 when Powers set up practice with his sons in Durban (cf POWERS & POWERS). COWIN & ELLIS continued to practice in the Transvaal, a partnership which included Cowin's two sons.

(AB&E Oct 1926:19; Benjamin 1979; Cumming-George 1933; SA Academy exhib cat 1923-1940; SAAR Jun 1926:35-7; SAAR Sep 1927:58, 72-3; SAAR Jun 1929:46-7; SAAR Dec 1935:376; SAB Feb 1925:43; SAB Jun 1925:47)

Submitted and entry for the Competition for the new Prime Minister's Residence - unplaced.

Submitted and entry for the Competition for the new Prime Minister's Residence - unplaced.

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 COWIN, POWERS and ELLIS

Chipkin, Clive M. 1993. Johannesburg Style - Architecture & Society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Phillip. pp 67, 185, 186

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pp 40-41, 55-56

van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 185, 186, 199, 208, 212, 231