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Tshilidzini Hospital - Alts and Adds
Thohoyandou district, Limpopo

People:

STAUCH VORSTER + PARTNERS: Architect


Date:1995
Type:Hospital
Status:Extant

Award of Merit - Conservation

ASSESSORS’ COMMENTS

STAUCH VORSTER submitted the upgrading of Tshilidzini Hospital project for a conservation award. The original scheme was done by the offices of Karel JOOSTE in the early seventies, where it was designed by Carl GERNECKE. The scheme is of high architectural merit, displaying an inventive use of ordinary brick and iron with innovative detailing, all combining to make a low-cost utilitarian yet spatially extraordinary and functional place which has served well over the past twenty-five years.

STAUCH VORSTER has been diligent in pursuing the aesthetic, rescuing the scheme from previously insensitive alterations and making changes and additions in a responsible manner, reusing, where-ever possible elements of the original project where services had to be re-routed or upgraded.

In this time of Reconstruction and Development there is much which contemporary architects can learn from this scheme. It also highlights the importance of conservation, even where the building is a product of the recent past, a concern that the S. A. Institute of Architecture should pursue with the conservation bodies. Too many fine pieces of contemporary architecture are threatened by insensitive alterations, or even demolition. McINTOSH’s Whitecrook is a sad example of loss, EATON’s Polleys Arcade under threat.

We recommend a special Award of Merit for Tshilidzini Hospital in recognition of the work of Karel JOOSTE, a fine architect, now deceased, the architect Carl GERNECKE in his year of retirement as teacher from the School of Architecture, UCT, and to STAUCH VORSTER for their sensitive handling of the original fabric and respect for the architectural integrity of a sterling project.

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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