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Laboratory Complex at Sasol Midlands
Sasolburg, Free State


Client:Sasol Chemical Industries

Award of Merit Citation

This apparently simple laboratory building in the industrial desert of Sasol Midlands in Sasolburg derives its form and constructional syntax from the need for a blast-proof facility with high degree of mechanical services and laboratory equipment. Externally located columns act as buttresses, and exposed stand-up beams and the roof slab become the devices of a brutalist aesthetic. The utter simplicity and directness of this project reminds that buildings can be as efficient and economical as a bicycle and a humble project a masterly design. Despite its severe constraints and omissions to the original brief the merit of this project is has a sense of completeness.

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.

Writings about this entry

Raman, Pattabi G and Olivier, Jako. 2009. Architecture of the third landscape : Award-winning buildings of the Free State. Bloemfontein: Exposure. pg 128-137