The first Cape Town-trained architect to occupy the position of President of the Cape Provincial Institute of Architects from 1938 to 1940 and the first South African-born and youngest President-in-chief of the Institute of South African Architects in 1939-40, Day was born in Kimberley, the son of Percy Ware Day. He was educated at the South African College School, Cape Town and at Kingswood College Grahamstown. He was articled for three years (1 January 1922 to 1 January 1925) to PARKER & FORSYTH in Cape Town, attending the Cape School of Architecture at the Michaelis School and, on transfer of the course, at the University of Cape Town. In 1925 he left for London to study at the Architectural Association where he qualified in 1928; he was elected an Associate member of the RIBA in 1928. Around this time he spent two months with Shreve (?) & LAMB in New York as part of a four-month trip which included France, Italy and Switzerland. On his return to South Africa he commenced practice in Cape Town in 1929 on his own account.
In 1933 he entered into partnership with HT JONES (cf JONES & DAY). The partnership appears to have lasted until Jones retired (?) in 1940 (?). A letter dated June 1937 (HSRC/14 Cleland Papers), refers to Day and RL DE WET having been to visit CLELAND (then Secretary of Public Works) in Cape Town about work but the two do not appear to have entered into partnership until 1940 (?). In 1940 DAY, DE SMIDT & DE WET won the Cape Provincial Institute's Bronze Medal for 'the best executed work in the Cape Province in 1939' (SA Archt Mar 1940:449), which was the police station and barracks, Main Rd, Simonstown. He went into partnership with RL DE WET (cf DAY & DE WET). Day entered active service during the Second World War and received the commission of captain in the South African Flying Corps. He served on the Council of the Town Planning Association and the Central Council of the Institute of South African Architects, and retired in 1979. An important gift of architectural drawings, known as the DAY & DE WET Gift, was given to the University of Cape Town Library. President CPIA 1938-9, 1939-40; President-in-Chief ISAA 1939-40; Reg prob RIBA 1923-4 Sea Point, Cape Town; AA Dip (Lon)
ISAA 1929; ARIBA 1928; FRIBA 1945. (AB&E Mar 1938: 2,5; ARIBA nom papers 1928; ISAA mem list; FRIBA nom papers 4060 (1948); SA Archt Jan 1940:380, 381; SAWW 1931-2; SAWW 1935 port)
Publ: An architectural discussion (with Prof Thornton WHITE) SAAR Sep 1937:421-51; The Cape Provincial Report for 1938, SAAR Mar 1939:108-11; The Cape Provincial Report for 1939, SAAR Mar 1940: 87-96; Report for 1939, SAAR Mar 1940:87-96; The Central Council Report, SAAR Jun 1940:220-6.
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.