Mpumalanga Provincial Government Complex
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Award of Merit Citation
This project is the first to meet the demands of the democratic dispensation of the country. It is perhaps an inadvertent co-incidence that the democracy is that of the marketplace, for it is located between the mall and a national botanical garden, on the Nels River. The accommodation brief is extensive, and this perhaps leads to the architectural intentions sometimes becoming lost to pragmatism. There is however a consistency of merit in the making of this building. It is well integrated into its site, taking full advantage of a unique landscape, and in turn through the opportunities offered in the design allowing for the extension of the natural into both designed and hard landscaping. Materials are selected from the province as far as was possible, the vast number of bricks a case in point. The building allows for the placement of artworks, all locally sourced with the view to having the provincial government as both patron and custodian. The building is well detailed and inventively crafted. The domed assembly hall is a tour de force, both in terms of structural ingenuity and spacial configuration. The ceiling as a crafted object is spectacular and the chronology tapestry – an addition proposed by the designers - a national treasure. A national award of merit is fitting tribute to the achievement.
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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