The partnership between William HAWKE and Walter Nicol McKINLAY dated from 1905 and their arrival in Cape Town as winners of the competition for the Cape of Good Hope University offices and examination hall in Queen Victoria Street. The partners subsequently won a number of competitions of national importance including the Law Courts in Bloemfontein (1906), now the Supreme Court; the National Museum, Bloemfontein (1907, officially opened in 1915); Pretoria Post Office (1909), Johannesburg city hall (1910) for which they also designed the grand organ and were responsible for later (1937-1940) two-storey addition to the city hall. It is of interest to note that the original 1910 green-glazed, hand-made Spanish tiles were specified for the new roof but had become unobtainable due to the Spanish Civil War, thus since 'the Spanish village where these tiles were made is no longer in existence they will be replaced by bluish brindle tiles made in Pretoria' (PWD Annual Report 1939.) The Edwardian 'Grand manner' adopted by Hawke & McKinlay found favour again when in 1911 Hawke & McKinlay were placed second in the competition for the Municipal Offices in Bulawayo (see GIBSON & ROBERTSON.)
Everard WHITE joined the partnership around 1911 and the Bloemfontein practice was styled HAWKE, McKINLAY & WHITE. The partners won the competition for Vereeniging Town Hall in 1919 and in 1920 were appointed co-architects with CP WALGATE (cf WALGATE & ELSWORTH) to the University of Cape Town following the death of JM SOLOMON. The contract for the work was formally sub-let in 1923 and the building of the University took place over a number of years.
A brief, possibly defensive, comment on one of their buildings (the Atlas Building, Cape Town, 1935-1938) gives a thumbnail sketch of their design characteristics of the mid 1930s: 'the material is excellent ... the design is Lutyensesque ... the criticisms are trivial' (AB&E Aug 1938:13). In 1939, after Hawke's death the firm continued as HAWKE, McKINLAY & SAYCE. A number of drawings by the firm, mostly relating to work at the University of Cape Town campus, survive in the University of Cape Town library.
(A&B Apr 1918:285 ill; AB&E Feb 1921:4, 5 ports; Afr Archt Feb 1912:175; AB&E Mar 1912:193; Afr Archt Dec 1912:96; Afr Archt Aug 1913:242-43; Afr Archt Oct 1913:268, xvii ill; Braby's dir OFS 1937:337; DSAB III:380-81; Picton-Seymour 1977; PWD ar 1939; Rennie 1978b:252; SAMBF Jnl Aug 1906:23-4)
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.