Share this record


View the list of Wits graduates.
Lexicon
University of the Witwatersrand School of Architecture (Wits school)

_____________________________________________________

The Department of Architecture was one of the original departments of the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), which was founded in 1922. The department was led for its first decades by Professor GE PEARSE, architect and researcher, whose name is remembered in one of the School's student scholarships. Since its inception, the Department of Architecture (now School of Architecture and Planning) has been located on main campus, on the edge of downtown Johannesburg, centre of the Gauteng city region of about 10 million people today.

[WITS website]

The Faculty of Architecture of the Witwatersrand

The original purpose of the monograph titled The Faculty of Architecture of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and its role in the community compiled by Monte BRYER in 1977 was to provide a broad outline of the development and growth of the Wits Faculty of Architecture and its role in the community from its early beginnings a few years after the commencement of the last century.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND QUANTITY SURVEYING

The establishment and development of the Wits School of Architecture and Quantity Surveying and subsequently of the Wits Faculty of Architecture are closely intertwined with the development of the Witwatersrand region and of the great city whose name is part of the university's official title, the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

The economic reconstruction following the end of the South African War in 1902 engendered much building and re-building, particularly in Johannesburg which, based as it was on its gold mines, was the focus of economic activity. It was here in an air of optimism and confidence in the future of this mining town that architectural education and training in South Africa were first instituted on a formal basis. In 1905 classes in Architecture and Building were held at the Transvaal Technical Institute. This was the successor to the South African School of Mines and Technology which had been founded in Kimberley in 1896 and was transferred some eight years later to a group of temporary wood and iron buildings, formerly the municipal offices, in Eloff Street, Johannesburg, to which, on a site now part of the present Attwell Gardens for the Blind, was added a corrugated iron structure affectionately nicknamed the "Tin Temple". Classes were conducted in the Tin Temple as part of a new programme of architectural training which, because the students all worked as assistants in architects' offices, was part-time. But so effective were the courses of study that according to Geoffrey Eastcott PEARSE, who as a student pursued them in those early days and who was later to become the first Professor of Architecture in South Africa, they were "the foundations of architectural training in Johannesburg".

The new training programme, however, barely survived the inimical conditions of the post- South African War years in this financially rich and avaricious but culturally poor boom town and, due to inadequate facilities and demoralization of the teachers, many students left to complete their education and training overseas.

With the passing of the Transvaal Architects Act in 1909 the Association of Transvaal Architects was brought into being as a statutory body, as much, it would seem, for altruistic as for self-interested reasons, as, indeed, its subsequent history has shown. One of its first concerns was for the education of its future members. So it turned for assistance to the South African School of Mines and Technology, which in 1910 succeeded the Transvaal University College, this being the new name that was given in 1906 to the Transvaal Technical Institute previously referred to. The outcome was that in 1911 a four-year academic course and the holding of annual examinations were instituted and a four-year period of practical and professional experience after the academic period was required as a prerequisite for registration. Several local architects and quantity surveyors, notably, W Lucas, S C Dowsett, P J Hill, W G Gibson, R HOWDEN and A J MARSHALL, assisted the School as teachers and examiners and the courses progressed until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. This brought architectural development and education to o halt in Johannesburg as in the rest of the country, for there was little if any development until the end of the War in 1918 and practically all of the students had left on active service.

But despite the national anxieties and preoccupations due to the First World War, it was during the war years that decisive steps were taken towards the achievement of university education in Johannesburg and on the Witwatersrand. Contrary to Government policy at the time in establishing new universities, the people of Johannesburg and the Reef felt that facilities for higher education in the form of a University and not merely of a School of Mines and Technology were essential to a region which not only had the largest concentration of white population but was the main source of the country’s wealth. As the result of overwhelming popular demand plans were set afoot in 1916 for the expansion of the South African School of Mines and Technology with the view to preparing it for university status and to converting it as soon as possible into the University of the Witwatersrand, for which a site some 33 hectares in extent at Milner Park had already been granted by the Town Council of Johannesburg. To this end a widely representative Witwatersrand University Committee of 72 members was formed and at the beginning of 1917 it appealed to the people of Johannesburg and the Reef for financial support. The response was such that in 1918 an architectural competition was held for the layout of Milner Park as a university campus and two years later, by an Act of Parliament, the South African School of Mines and Technology, which in 1916 had been incorporated in the University of South Africa, became the University College, Johannesburg. Finally, in 1921, the University of the Witwatersrand was established by an Act of Parliament which came into operation on 1st March 1922.

As one of the statutory bodies with a representative of its own on the Witwatersrand University Committee, the Association of Transvaal Architects was actively involved in this achievement, and although architectural classes had once again been re-started at the South African School of Mines and Technology in 1910 and there were 21 architectural students there by 1920, it was clear to the profession as a corporate body that its educational needs could only be satisfied by means of a permanent organization such as a university. With this aim in view and with the generous support of its members - they contributed £ 1000 - it prevailed on the University College, Johannesburg, to establish a Chair of Architecture. And so, early in 1921 and within a period of less than six years, the first Chair of Architecture and, indeed, also the first University School of Architecture and Quantity Surveying in South Africa were brought into being at Wits. At the some time, G E PEARSE, who in 1920 had returned to Johannesburg to practice, after serving with distinction in Mesopotamia, Egypt and India during the First World War, was appointed as the first Professor of Architecture in South Africa. Within the first year of its existence the University of the Witwatersrand embraced six Faculties, namely, Arts, Science, Medicine, Engineering, Law and Commerce and, as Professor PEARSE believed that civil engineering and architecture were closely allied as professions, he chose the Faculty of Engineering as the one in which his school should become a constituent but autonomous Department, namely, the Department of Architecture, quantity surveying then being constituted as a branch of this Department, until the School gained the status of a Faculty in its own right in 1940, when quantity surveying become a division or sub-department of the Faculty of Architecture.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE & QUANTITY SURVEYING FROM 1921 UNTIL THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Classes were conducted in an austere room in the Tin Temple where, according to Professor PEARSE, "we lived in a dusty atmosphere with cats having kittens regularly under our studio,.. and constant visitors in the form of hoboes" and where, according to Rex Distin MARTIENSSEN who enrolled as a first year student in March 1923 and who was to become a celebrated teacher in the School, "rain often spoilt our drawings, the windows rattled and dust covered everything, but the atmosphere of something new to be discovered and the enthusiasm for the intricacies of an exciting art overcame such minor physical disabilities". The total number of students in the School in its first year, that is, in 1921, was four, of which one was a full-time degree student and the rest part-time students. Professor PEARSE was the only full-time member of the staff and he was assisted by three part-time teachers, R[M?] J HEIR (building construction), H W SPICER and F WILLIAMSON (architectural design), to whom a fourth, G E Gordon LEITH (architectural design), was added in 1922. These teachers were local members of the architectural profession who were determined to ensure that education at the new-born School would be properly and adequately maintained. Their support was augmented by contributions from Lady Phillips, to whose remarkable role as a patroness of the arts the Johannesburg Art Gallery, inter alia, bears witness, from D M BURTON, one of the fathers of the Institute of South African Architects when it was established as a national statutory body in 1927 by an Act of Parliament which unified the professions of architecture and quantity surveying, and from the Witwatersrand Council of Education. These contributions enabled the architectural library of the late J M SOLOMON, an eminent Cape architect, to be acquired for the School and to become the nucleus of its library which was soon effectively increased by one of the University's great benefactors, Howard Pim.

From these modest beginnings at Wits an advance in architectural and quantity surveying education in this country was made which culminated in 1928 in the establishment of such education, and also of qualifying examinations, solely as a university function. With this achievement South Africa won the distinction of being the first country in the world to establish professional education and examinations in architecture and quantity surveying as a system founded solely on a university basis. Indeed, it is only in recent times that the far older system of pupilage, whereby architects and quantity surveyors in other countries, notably, for example, Great Britain, acquired their training in the offices of private practitioners, has been superseded by university education. And even today professional education and examinations in architecture and quantity surveying in a technologically advanced country such as Great Britain have not as yet been made entirely and solely a university function.

Within less than three years of the establishment of the School of Architecture and Quantity Surveying as a department in the Faculty of Engineering at Wits there were no less than ten teachers who lectured to the first-year students in architecture. These teachers and the subjects they dealt with were as follows: -

Professor G E PEARSE Design
Construction
The History of Architecture
The History of the Fine Arts
Professor J P Dalton Mathematics
Professor H le May Applied Mathematics
Professor J A Wilkinson Chemistry
Professor H H Paine Physics
Professor L F Maingard French
Mr J DRYSDALE Geometrical Drawing
Mr A Gyngell Freehand Drawing
Mr J E Kerrich Mathematics (tutorial)
Mr G T R Evans Physics (tutorial)

Mr Gyngell was the well known South African artist and in later years Messrs Kerrich and Evans were to become professors at Wits.

By 1924 the duration of the degree course in architecture at Wits had been extended from four to five years and the requirements for a Master's degree had been established, not only in order to gain parity in status with the British University Schools of Architecture but also with the view to achieving recognition by the Royal Institute of British Architects which was regarded throughout the world as being the most august of all architectural institutions.

Moreover, in 1924 a five year diploma course in architecture for part-time students had been arranged to commence in 1925 to assist those students working in offices who could not afford a full-time course and also to replace the Architects' Registration course. There were now a total of 31 students in the School of whom 7 were enrolled for the degree and 24 for the diploma in architecture.

In the process of evolving a curriculum for these courses the School was instrumental in 1922 in instituting a course in the History of the Fine Arts as part of the Arts course at Wits and thereby introduced a relationship between architecture and the plastic arts which duly emphasised that architecture was not merely a profession but an art and which was also to have a profound effect both on the teaching of architecture at Wits and, later, on architecture and art intrinsically in Southern Africa.

The influence of the School soon spread beyond Johannesburg and the Witwatersrand. For when a school of Architecture was established at the Natal Technical College in Durban in 1924, this was accomplished under the aegis of the Wits School of Architecture and Quantity Surveying. And when the school in Durban was later taken over by the Natal University College which eventually, in 1960, become the University of Natal, their students were by arrangement enabled to write the third and fifth year examinations at the Wits School for the Certificate in Architecture and also for the Certificate in Quantity Surveying. These Certificate courses were instituted in 1932 to cater for external students in South Africa and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and were available to part-time students in areas outside the Witwatersrand and Pretoria, the position in regard to the School of the Natal University College being that whereas part-time or extra-mural students of the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria could take the courses leading to the Diploma in Architecture and the Diploma in Quantity Surveying, part-time or extra-mural students in areas outside the Witwatersrand and Pretoria could only take the Certificate in Architecture and the Certificate in Quantity Surveying courses at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria, whilst part-time or extra-mural students both resident and non-resident in the Cape Peninsula could take the Certificate in Architecture course at the University of Cape Town. The University of the Witwatersrand was first, however, in withdrawing the certificate courses in architecture and quantity surveying, which it did in 1951, its aim already at this stage being to eliminate port-time education and training in architecture and quantity surveying.

By the fourth year of its existence the work and educational demands of the School had increased to such an extent that despite the courageous efforts of the part-time teachers to cope with them, it became necessary to augment the full-time staff which until then had consisted only of Professor PEARSE. A full-time senior lecturer in the person of A S FURNER was accordingly appointed in 1925. This important step, which had a most stimulating academic effect on the School due to the calibre of A S FURNER both as a teacher and as a man of wide culture, coincided with the school's move from the Tin Temple to the Wits campus at Milner Park, where part of the new Central Block had that year been completed and opened by the Prince of Wales and where, to begin with, the school was accommodated in the Science Block, a building with a Tuscan colonnade across its north facade and situated immediately to the north-east of the Central Block.

Architectural and quantity surveying education in the Transvaal at this time was centred in Pretoria as well as in Johannesburg, courses in architecture and quantity surveying being available at the Pretoria Technical College, where students in architecture received their instruction under the aegis of the Wits School and took the Diploma course in architecture of the University of the Witwatersrand. This situation was unsatisfactory to the architectural and quantity surveying professions as corporate bodies, and in 1929, as a result of representations made to the Transvaal University College in Pretoria by the Central Council of the Institute of South African Architects which had been established by an Act of Parliament two years previously and which incorporated the chapter of South African Quantity Surveyors, a Department of Architecture and Quantity Surveying was established there in 1932 in the Faculty of Science under Professor H BELL-JOHN, an architect and quantity surveyor who was the Chief Engineer in the Public Works Department. Meanwhile, in 1930, the Transvaal University College had become the University of Pretoria and in 1931 at a meeting with the University of the Witwatersrand it was jointly decided by the two universities to centralise architectural education at Wits and quantity surveying education at the University of Pretoria and that degrees and diplomas in architecture should be awarded by Wits and degrees and diplomas in quantity surveying by the university of Pretoria. The lectures in quantity surveying at Wits were given by Professor BELL-JOHN who served as a part-time lecturer there from 1930 until the end of 1942. He was in charge of the branch of quantity surveying in the Department of Architecture whilst the latter was a constituent Department of the Faculty of Engineering and he was also in charge of the division or sub-department of Quantity Surveying as a discipline in the Faculty of Architecture which was established in 1940. The lectures in architecture at the University of Pretoria were given by members of the teaching staff of the Wits School of Architecture and it was not until 1943, when a Chair of Architecture was first established at the University of Pretoria, that full responsibility for architectural education was transferred from Wits to the University of Pretoria and that each university assumed full responsibility for education in both architecture and quantity surveying. These developments were sponsored by the architectural and quantity surveying professions as a corporate body, namely, the Institute of South African Architects, the policy of its Central Council being to concentrate education at the university as the ideal centre for this purpose. Professor PEARSE’s influence on the Central Council's educational policy was effective especially in that the Central Council invariably supported the university as the ideal centre for architectural education, despite the pressures exerted by the Technical Colleges and the Government at all levels, notably through the respective departments of works and also by that part of the architectural profession itself which sought to produce assistants rather than competitors. As the result of this support and the Wits School's close connections with the Natal and Pretoria Schools of Architecture, the University of the Witwatersrand was placed in the position of playing a predominant role in the development of architectural education in South Africa. And, what is more, its strategic position in the city and the region of greatest building activity in this country enabled it to exert a dominant influence on the development of architecture in Southern Africa.

Meanwhile the students themselves had acted with a view to furthering the development of their School by forming a Students' Architectural Society in 1925. This was an occasion of far-reaching consequence because from then on the Society played a very important part in the progress of the School and, indeed, also in the development of architectural thought in South Africa.

From then on, too, the School's library was made available to the architectural and quantity surveying professions for reference purposes and in 1928 it was augmented by the architectural library of the Transvaal Provincial Institute of Architects as a token of that Institute's appreciation and also by a gift from the Carnegie Corporation consisting of 350 books on architecture and the fine arts, 850 mounted photographs of architecture, paintings and sculpture, a case of etchings and engravings and some 2 000 reproductions in colour of works of art in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, to the value of about £ 1,000.

By this time there was a total of some 50 students in the School of whom 22 were degree students. And in 1927 the first degree in architecture in South Africa was awarded to H C TULLEY and, in 1928, the second to W G McINTOSH, both of whom had fathers who were architects.

Professor PEARSE was then Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and, with the invaluable assistance of A S FURNER, had succeeded in raising the quality and status of the School of Architecture to the extent that in 1927 the degree course was recognised and the diploma course was partially recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects, which meant that all holders of the Wits Degree in architecture qualified for election as Associates of that institution and that all holders of the Wits diploma in architecture could do so on submission and approval of a thesis. Only three of the eight Schools of Architecture in Britain at that time were so recognised and the University of the Witwatersrand shared the honour of recognition with only two universities outside Britain, namely, the University of Sydney, Australia, and McGill University, Canada. In the following year the Wits School of Architecture won the further honour of a visit by the famous British architect Sir Herbert BAKER, who before all others was responsible for the revival of the tradition of South African architecture which had been established by the Dutch settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a newly qualified young architect in 1912, Professor PEARSE had worked for him for a short time in Johannesburg. BAKERr had every reason to remember this erstwhile assistant of his, for PEARSE was not only one of the most constant admirers of his work but also one of his chief disciples in furthering the cause of architecture and the ancillary arts in South Africa. On this occasion as on another occasion some six years later, that is, in 1934, BAKER showed his appreciation of PEARSE's work in pioneering architectural education in South Africa by delivering a stimulating address to the latter's students at the Wits School of Architecture.

In 1929 the number of degree students increased to 29 of whom almost two-thirds were in the first two years of the course. In the three preceding years the School had already far outgrown its accommodation and educational facilities. But it was not until 1930 that the necessary accommodation and facilities became available, when the School moved into a portion of the upper floor of the Engineering Block which was completed at the end of 1925 as a twin building of the Science Block and which is situated immediately to the north-west of the Central Block.

It was here and in 1930 that the present writer became a first-year degree student in architecture, when the degree course was of five year’s duration. At the time it consisted of the following:

Architectural Design, in every year of the course, which commenced with first year students having to carry out and complete six sheets of freehand drawing, one sheet of ornament and three sheets of the Orders, namely, the Greek Doric and Ionic and the Roman Corinthian, and ended with fifth year students having to work out a design with small-scale drawings and details accompanied by a report and specification, this being in the nature of a thesis which was required before the final examination was allowed to be taken;

Geometrical Drawing, Freehand and Life Drawing, Physics, Mathematics and short courses in Chemistry, Geology, German or French, English or Afrikaans, in the first year, Mathematics then being an optional subject, with the History of the Fine Arts, Ancient Life and Thought, or a Modern Language as alternatives;

Land Surveying, in the second year;

Building construction, in each of the first three years and in the fifth year;

the History of Architecture, in each of the first three years;

the Theory of Structures, in each of the second and third years;

Sanitation and Hygiene, the strength of Materials, Interior Decoration and Furniture, in the third year;

Specifications, Estimates and Quantities, Town Planning and Professional Practice, in the fifth year.

The fourth year consisted of practical and professional experience in the office and under the control and guidance of an architect in South Africa, its purpose being to inculcate a proper sense of professional conduct and responsibility at the most appropriate time in the course.

This was an admirable course, comparable with that of other leading institutions for architectural education and training in the world, particularly in that its scope for exceeded the narrow limits of professional specialism and enabled would-be architects to be prepared as for as possible and within as short a time as possible to cope with the problems, both known and unknown, which they would encounter in their professional lives. This educational aim alone would account for the experimental work and individual expression which become a characteristic feature of the School and, indeed, would also very largely account for most if not all of the notable changes which have been brought about in the architecture of this country, especially by graduates of Wits practically from the time when its School of Architecture first started producing them.

Indeed, the School's education training and examinations had become so sound and effective by this time that in 1931, under the devolution scheme of the Royal Institute of British Architects, whereby in the previous year that Institute withdrew its examinations for membership thereof from South Africa and vested its authority in the Institute of South African Architects which was affiliated to it and which was its largest Overseas Allied Society, the University of the Witwatersrand together with the University of Cape Town become the examining authority in South Africa for the Associateship of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Unfortunately for the School, A S FURNER, who had done so much to raise its standards and tone and who had resigned in 1928 to go into private practice in Johannesburg, was succeeded by J T LLOYD who was not forceful enough to enable these standards to be upheld and maintained and who returned to the United Kingdom in 1931 to take up a teaching post there.

Meanwhile, Rex MARTIENSSEN had graduated from the School and qualified as an architect in 1930 and in the following year he become a teacher in the school, although it was not until 1934 that he was officially appointed as Lecturer in Architecture. At about the some time, that is, in 1931, Professor PEARSE was awarded a Carnegie Grant and given six months leave from the University to study architectural education in the USA, Canada and Europe and his former Senior Lecturer, A S FURNER, was appointed acting Head of the Department of Architecture for the period of PEARSE's absence. It was in this year too, that W G McINTOSH was awarded the Wits Diploma in Quantity Surveying and so became the first university-trained architect in South Africa to qualify also as a quantity surveyor so trained. Two years later J FASSLER joined the staff of the School as an assistant lecturer and in 1937 W D HOWIE and W de S HENDRIKZ become teachers in the school, the latter as Lecturer in the Fine Arts, all of these men having been outstanding students there.

In 1939 Rex MARTIENSSEN was awarded the Master's degree in architecture at Wits for his thesis "Constructivism", an analysis of contemporary architecture and construction in Europe, and so became the first South African architectural teacher and also the first South African architect to be awarded a Master’s degree in architecture. The School now moved to part of the uppermost floor of the Central Block where the teachers were accommodated in the east wing and the students in neighbouring studios overlooking the city to the south.

During the eighteen-year period from 1922 to 1940 the school produced 39 architects with degrees and 82 architects and quantity surveyors with diplomas. These were by no means spectacular figures, especially in comparison with the total output of graduates in other professional fields during this period, for example, 640 engineers, 464 doctors, 135 lawyers and 47 dentists. But such figures were proof, if proof were needed, that Wits had indeed more than met the demand for higher education which had been one of the basic reasons for its having been brought into being in the first place.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT TO DATE

The school of Architecture had made steady if unspectacular progress throughout the years since its inception and in 1939 Rex MARTIENSSEN urged that it be promoted to the rank of a separate Faculty. Speaking as the president of the Transvaal Provincial Institute of Architects at the School's fifteenth annual exhibition and prize-giving, at which he presented the prizes, he said, "The School of Architecture has progressed and consolidated its experiments. It has proved its place in the University and should, I think, emerge from its position as ancillary to the Faculty of Engineering. Professor PEARSE, with due weight and consideration, I suggest that steps be taken to convert the School into a separate Faculty. You are justified by achievement, you are justified by numbers, and I think, now that your courses are in full swing, you should obtain promotion for the school and in a Faculty of Architecture show not only the University which houses you, but the profession that watches your development, that the Department has grown up and is worthy of full status."

Professor PEARSE was thus encouraged to exert his own considerable influence in the University and, in 1940, that is, at the end of the second decade of its existence, the Department of Architecture and Quantity Surveying, which up till then had been a department in the Faculty of Engineering, was raised to the status of a Faculty in its own right, this being constituted as the Faculty of Architecture, with an enrolment of 95 students in all and a teaching staff of 1 professor, 4 full-time lecturers and 1 part-time lecturer. Accordingly, the B Arch and M Arch degrees were transferred from the Faculty of Engineering to the Faculty of Architecture, the B Sc (Engineering) in the Branch of Quantity Surveying was discontinued and the degrees of D Arch and B Sc in quantity surveying were established in the Faculty of Architecture, Quantity surveying as a discipline in the Faculty then being established as a division or sub-department thereof. And so the Faculty of Architecture became the eighth faculty at Wits and the first faculty of its kind in South Africa.

During this year the Central Block was finally completed, including the Great Hall which enabled graduation ceremonies to be held on the Wits campus instead of, as hitherto, in the City Hall.

In 1941, the year after the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Architecture had been instituted, Rex MARTIENSSEN was awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature at Wits for his thesis "The Idea of Space in Greek Architecture", and so become the first South African architectural teacher and, indeed, also the first South African architect to be awarded a doctoral degree. In that year, too, his wife Heather MARTIENSSEN joined the staff as a Junior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture. 1941 was an important year for the Faculty of Architecture also because as many as 16 of its students were awarded B Arch degrees by the University in that year. But perhaps the most outstanding event of that year as far as the Wits Faculty of Architecture was concerned was that the Architects’ Registration Council of the United Kingdom, which was established under the Architects, (Registration) Act of 1931, gave full recognition to the courses for the degree, diploma and certificate in architecture of the University of the Witwatersrand which thereby mode the holders thereof eligible for permission to practise in that country. This was a fitting tribute to 20 years of work and achievement on the part of professor G E PEARSE and to the work and achievements of his remarkable assistants, A S Furner and R D MARTIENSSEN, in raising the standard of architectural education at Wits to a level comparable with that of one of the leading countries of the world in the field of architecture. The university acknowledged this tribute by appointing Professor PEARSE as a member of its governing body, the Council, on which he served during two of the most crucial years of the Second World War, namely, 1942 and 1943. In doing so he became the first member of the architectural profession to serve on the Council of the University of the Witwatersrand and, indeed, up till now, he is the only one to have done so.

As a result of the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 student enrolment declined during the war years, but in accordance with the Government’s war policy, university students were encouraged to complete their professional education and training before enlisting for service. For this purpose Wits established its own University Training Corps as a part-time unit of the South African Defence Force, the Training Corps being made up of engineering, artillery and infantry units which provided part-time training for members of staff as well as its student members. Most of the teaching staff in the School of Architecture and Quantity Surveying joined the Engineering Section. But MARTIENSSEN and his wife opted for and received their training in the Air Force Section, he as an officer in that Section and she as the Officer Commanding the Womens' Auxiliary Unit. It was in1942 whilst he was attending a course at the Military College, Voortrekkerhoogte, near Pretoria, as a member of the University Training Corps, that he suffered o fatal heart attack. He was only 37 years of age at the time and his untimely death was o great loss not only to the University of the Witwatersrand but to architecture and more particularly to the course of modern architecture which he pioneered in South Africa and, indeed, also in the international field, both as o brilliant exponent thereof and as an extraordinarily effective teacher.

From the academic standpoint, the war period was for Wits a period of marking time. The real effect of the 1939-1945 war mode itself felt only at the beginning of the 1946 academic year when some 2 200 returned soldiers enrolled for courses in all the Faculties of the University, thereby increasing the total number of students from some 3 150 in 1945 to some 5 260 in the following year. This imposed a greater strain especially upon the professional Faculties in which the teachers were hard put to cope with the sudden increase in student numbers and at the some time to maintain academic standards. Extra temporary staff had to be employed and additional accommodation provided in the form of 13 temporary hutments in the middle of the campus. The Faculty of Architecture did not escape the inconvenience of the disruption caused to academic routine during the immediate post-war years. And, indeed, so great were the needs for accommodation due to the increase in the numbers of students after the peak period immediately following the end of the Second World War that some twenty five years were to elapse before the last of the hutments were demolished and removed from the campus.

Notable amongst the extra temporary staff who were employed to cope with the extraordinary increase in student numbers due to ex-service men enrolling for courses in the Faculty of Architecture as in every other Faculty at Wits in the year following the end of the Second World War, were the late R L NIEBUHR, who served as a part-time Lecturer in Architecture from 1945 to 1947; H N JOUBERT, who was a full-time Lecturer in Architecture in 1946; the late A G STEWART who served in that capacity from 1946 to 1948 and shortly thereafter became one of the very few members of the architectural profession who left it to enter the building industry as a building contractor; the late D E PILCHER, who was part-time lecturer in Architecture from 1947 to 1949; and E M (Betty) SPENCE and her husband C PINFOLD, who become temporary full-time Lecturers in Architecture in 1945 and 1948 respectively and served in this capacity until 1958. Of these temporary members of staff all except C PINFOLD were Wits architectural graduates, D E PILCHER being awarded the M Arch degree at Wits posthumously in 1950.

In 1944 W A McKechnie of the firm Farrow Laing & McKechnie, Quantity Surveyors in Johannesburg, succeeded Professor Bell-John as a part-time lecturer in the sub-department of Quantity Surveying in the Faculty of Architecture and as the director of education and training in that sub-department, and he served as such until the end of 1946, having been assisted in that year by J W S Castleton who was employed at Wits at the time as a temporary full-time Senior Lecturer in Quantity Surveying.

In anticipation of the expansion of the national economy in the post-war period which, as it turned out, happened at a rate unequalled by that in any other western country excepting the United States of America and Canada and, in anticipation particularly of the need for developing new towns as well as expanding existing urban centres throughout South Africa, the Faculty of Architecture introduced in 1945 a post graduate Diploma in Town Planning, for architects, civil engineers and land surveyors. The course for this Diploma was one of two years duration, but in 1949 it was extended to three years and was made available also to holders of BA and B Sc degrees with honours in Geography and to holders of MA and M Sc degrees whose dissertations for these degrees dealt with some branch of geography related to Town and Regional planning. As such, this Diploma received recognition by the Royal Town Planning Institute of Great Britain, which meant that holders of the Wits Diploma were exempt from that Institute's final examinations. Wits thus initiated the first town planning education and training in South Africa.

At the some time and in response to the growing demand for courses in the History and Appreciation of Arts, the Department of Architecture having already for many years provided courses leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Fine Arts for students outside the Department, the Department of Fine Arts was established as an autonomous department in the Faculty of Arts, but under the aegis and control of the Department of Architecture. This development was to hove a significant influence on the courses in design and on the work of the school of Architecture in these courses particularly in that, until the middle sixties, due emphasis was given to visual education and training in the principles of basic design and to the study of architectural history, both of which have since then largely been ousted by education and training of a strictly technological nature in most if not all of the schools of Architecture in this country. The Wits school has nevertheless played a leading role in preparing its architecture students visually and artistically as well as technologically for the practice and production of architecture.

Indeed, with the exception of the years in the middle and late Sixties and the following five years, the educational policy of the School, particularly since professor A d'A M GUEDES was appointed to the Chair of Architecture and become its Head in 1975, has been and happily continues to be such that it enables the golden mean to be achieved and maintained between technological education and training on the one hand and visual and artistic education and training on the other. This is of fundamental importance to the architectural profession, for without a proper and adequate artistic and visual education and training and a close understanding of the fine arts it cannot but fail to satisfy the society it serves or purports to serve and in doing so it will not only cease to justify its existence but will also eventually cease to exist as such. In any case there is no room today for the old but still persistent prejudice that art and technology are different and incompatible interests. For although we, including also the rising generation of architects, quantity surveyors, building technologists and town and regional planners, are divided by schooling and experience and we differ, though we differ rather less in our aptitudes, we nevertheless share an underlying basis of common ability which must be explored and exploited as far as possible if we are to succeed in developing and shaping our world for human purposes in accordance with human rights and values and aims rather than for lesser ends. It is true that as architects and town and regional planners, our interest, for example, in mathematics, has usually been killed by unimaginative teaching just as the visual and artistic interest of many if not most quantity surveyors and building technologists has been killed by the lack of intellectual and emotional pleasures of art in their education and training. So the sooner we learn to appreciate the complementary relationship of art and technology and the forces thereof, the better able we shall be to unite in a common sensibility and understanding in order to determine how we can best help to broaden and liberate our culture for all to participate and obtain fulfillment in it.

In 1947 the teaching staff of the Department of Architecture was augmented by the appointment as a Lecturer in Architecture of a Wits graduate, G HERBERT, who two years later was to become an Associate Editor of the South African Architectural Record and served as such for 11 years and who in 1957 was to win the Sir Herbert Baker Scholarship and later become Professor of Architecture and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion-lsrael Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel.

At the same time also in 1947 J W S Castleton succeeded W A McKechnie as a part-time lecturer in the sub-department of Quantity Surveying in the Faculty of Architecture and as the director of education and training in that sub-department. During that year, N R Law, also of the firm of Farrow Laing and McKechnie, acted in J W S Castleton’s place to enable the latter to visit the United Kingdom. And in 1948 the staff of the sub-department was augmented by the appointment as a part-time Lecturer in Quantity Surveying of R B Milford of the firm Venn and Milford, Quantity Surveyors, in Johannesburg.

In 1947, too, Professor PEARSE retired from the Chair of Architecture and in 1948 was succeeded in this office and as Head of the school of Architecture and Quantity Surveying by his protégé Professor J FASSLER. For some twenty-seven years Professor PEARSE had directed and built up the School from its small beginnings into one of the leading Schools of Architecture in the British Commonwealth, of which South Africa was as foundation member. His retirement marked the end of an era in architectural education and training at Wits and, indeed, also in this country. But in anticipating the post-war period of expansion especially in the environmental field, by supporting and actively participating in the establishment of the Department of Fine Arts and in the setting up of a postgraduate diploma course in Town Planning at Wits in the last two years before he relinquished his office in the service of the University, he enabled the Faculty of Architecture to enter a new era equipped and prepared as fully as possible at that time to meet whatever demands and challenges the new era would bring.

In 1949 W G McINTOSH was awarded the Wits Diploma in Town Planning and so became the first university trained architect and quantity surveyor in South Africa to qualify also as a town planner so trained. In 1949, too, after two years of study at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, Heather MARTIENSSEN obtained the Ph D degree of the University of London for a thesis on the Georgian architect Sir William Chambers (1726 - 96) and two years later she was appointed Senior Lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts in recognition of its growing importance in the University and also in recognition of her exceptional capabilities in directing and developing it especially during the critical war years. As a lecturer both in the Department of Architecture and in the Department of Fine Arts since 1941 she taught the Theory and Practice of Art, the History of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and also Art Criticism and in 1954 she become the Head of the Department of Fine Arts. But this Department developed so quickly and effectively under her leadership that in 1957 a chair of Fine Arts was established to which she was immediately appointed and with this appointment she won the distinction of being the first woman to become a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Meanwhile the teaching capacity of the Department of Architecture had been markedly increased by the appointment in 1950 of a wits graduate, J MORGENSTERN, as a lecturer who in partnership with his wife, also a Wits architecture graduate, was later to practice with distinction as an architect and town planner in Johannesburg and, in 1957, by the appointment of an additional Lecturer in Architecture in the person of E W N MALLOWS who eight years later was to become the first professor of Town and Regional Planning at Wits and indeed, at the same time also, the first such professor in South Africa. In 1959 W D HOWIE was appointed an Associate Professor in recognition of his service to the University which then covered a period of 22 years, and in that year too, J BEINART, an architecture graduate of the University of Cape Town, joined the teaching staff as a lecturer in the Department of Architecture where he served as such for six years, winning the Sir Herbert Baker Scholarship in 1961 and then serving as the Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town from 1965 to 1970 since when he has been professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA. At the end of 1958 J W S Castleton retired as a part-time lecturer and as the director of education and training in the sub-department of Quantity Surveying in the Faculty of Architecture and in 1960 he was succeeded in the latter capacity by R B Milford, his post as a part-time Lecturer in Quantity Surveying having been filled in 1958 by the appointment of C Walker who, twelve years later, was to become the first Professor of Quantity surveying at Wits. This appointment was followed in 1961 by the appointment of E M PINCUS and M D LENNARD as Lecturers in the Faculty's Department of Architecture.

In 1959 the Faculty of Architecture and the Department of Fine Arts had moved to a home of their own on the campus, a new building designed by Professor J Fassler in association with W D HOWIE, G HERBERT, J MORGENSTERN, J SHUNN and U TOMASELLI, all of whom at the time were members of the staff of the Department of Architecture. This was the first of the buildings to be completed in the University's post-war building programme and it was named and is known as the John Moffat Building, in tribute to Mr John Abram MOFFAT, a Johannesburg architect who died in 1941, having bequeathed some £ 100,000 which was to be paid to the University fifteen years after his death on condition that the fund be used for some such purpose as a building. At the same time the main lecture theater in this building was named the Dorothy Susskind Auditorium in appreciation of Mrs Susskind's work as chairperson of the University Towns Festival held on the campus in 1955, in raising some £93,000 for the University. The building was a notable addition to the University’s facilities for teaching and study, comparable environmentally as well as architecturally to buildings of a similar nature and purpose at universities elsewhere throughout the western world, a feature of the facilities being the divisional library serving not only the Faculty of Architecture and the Department of Fine Arts but also the University as a whole.

During the Fifties, town planning as a discipline in the Department of Architecture had made such progress that this was duly recognised when, in 1960, the Royal Institute of British Architects' Award for Distinction in Town Planning was made to the Head of the School of Architecture, Professor J FASSLER, for his services to town planning education and training in South Africa. And by 1961 this discipline had developed to the extent that in that year a division or sub-department of Town and Regional planning was established, which in 1965 was granted full departmental status and a Chair of its own, to which Professor E W N MALLOWS was then appointed. This resulted in the postgraduate diploma course being augmented by a new undergraduate course of four years' duration leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Town and Regional Planning. Nine students enrolled for this degree course when it commenced and when the Department of Town and Regional Planning become an autonomous and constituent department of the Faculty of Architecture in 1968, there were 24 undergraduate students taking this course and a staff of two fulltime teachers in town and regional planning to educate and train them.

Furthermore, as the result of pressure from the building and allied industries of this country as a corporate body, namely, the Building Industries Federation (South Africa) and with a generous subvention from the Federation’s National Development Fund for the Building Industry in South Africa, a four-year degree course reading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Building, was instituted in the Department of Architecture also in 1965, with the object of supplying the need for men educated and trained to fill technical, executive and managerial roles in the building and allied industries. The Fund’s subvention was on an annual basis and enabled a Chair of Building Science to be established, to which Dr D M Calderwood, a triple graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand who, in 1953, gained the distinction of becoming the first Doctor of Architecture in South Africa, was appointed in 1966, having previously served as a research officer in the National Building Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria: only 10 students enrolled for this degree course when it commenced, the staff consisting of one full-time and one part-time teacher. But five years later, when the division of Building Science become an autonomous and constituent department of the Faculty of Architecture in 1970, there were 106 students pursuing this course and a staff of five full-time and three part-time teachers to conduct it.

At the end of 1965 R B Milford, who had served the sub-department of Quantity Surveying as a part-time Lecturer in Quantity surveying for eighteen consecutive years and as the director of education and training in that sub-department for the last six of those years, retired and was succeeded in the latter capacity by C Walker. At the same time, too, M D LENNARD retired as a Lecturer in Architecture and joined in partnership with H N JOUBERT and C C IRVINE-SMITH as practicing architects in Johannesburg.

In 1967, that is, ten years ago, when T J Olivier was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Building Science, the total enrolment of students in the Faculty of Architecture was 255, consisting of 235 European, 18 Asiatic, 2 Coloured, but no Black students, of which 239 were male and 16 female. It was in this year that Professor J FASSLER resigned in order to devote himself to the design and erection of the new Senate House in his capacity as the University's architect for this major building project.

This was at a time when the University was experiencing great difficulty in obtaining sufficient teaching staff for its School of Architecture. But, as always, the difficulty was overcome with the aid of its own alumni who during the late Sixties volunteered their services to the School as part-time teachers and assisted the architectural students in their design courses. Notable amongst these alumni was P L SCHWELLNUS, an exceptionally brilliant and creative young architect who, besides practicing his profession, particularly at the time in collaboration with the present writer on the Johannesburg Civic Centre project, devoted much time and energy to teaching his students at Wits, until his untimely death in 1971 at the age of 32. To the present writer it appeared as a foregone conclusion that Paul Ludwig SCHWELLNUS would have developed as one of the great architects of his time.

In 1968 Professor G E PEARSE died and, with his passing, the last remaining link with the beginnings of architectural education and training on a formal and also on a university basis in South Africa was severed. And in 1969 another of his protégés, Professor W D HOWIE, was appointed as Head of the Department of Architecture, Quantity Surveying, Building Science and Town and Regional Planning, in succession to Professor J FASSLER.

From the educational standpoint, what was remarkable at this time was that the Faculty had by now reached a position which was unique in English-speaking universities particularly in that it had come to embrace the four related disciplines concerned with the production of the human environment. It could offer a wide variety of courses which ranged not only from large scale planning such as town and regional planning to the design of buildings and building complexes but also from costing and accounting to the execution of buildings and the realisation of building projects. Indeed, in this respect it had entered a new era. For with the increasing demand for specialisation in the building and construction industries as in all other industries with a growing scientific and technological base and content, its main task thenceforth would be to prepare future members of the professional components of the building and construction industries for specialisation in their respective fields of work.

At the some time, however, it would have to ensure that in preparing students for the professional ranks of those industries, they would become architects, quantity surveyors, building executives and managers and town and regional planners who would understand and appreciate one another’s problems, outlooks, aims and approaches and would be able to communicate and collaborate with one another in a manner which is essential for those industries to function efficiently and effectively in supplying the national building and construction requirements. One of the most important advantages to be gained from the diversity and greater variety of the disciplines embraced by the Faculty and from the growing inter-disciplinary links with the Faculty of Engineering, the Urban and Regional Research unit, the Educational Technology unit and the 'service' departments, is that henceforth their courses could be co-ordinated and made to serve so that the special needs of each discipline would be duly fulfilled and a broader more integrated education would be achieved. Certainly the greater intellectual stimulus and cross-fertilisation of ideas that ore engendered by such education was bound to create mutual understanding, respect and appreciation between the professional components of the building and construction industries which could only benefit therefrom.

Professor HOWIE lost no time in directing the educational policy and aims of the Faculty of Architecture towards these ends. He immediately went overseas to study courses then being offered in Great Britain and in Europe especially in the architectural field and thereafter succeeded in transforming the Faculty's outlook, image and morale in a way which augured well for its future development and indeed also for the future development of education in architecture, building and planning in this country.

In 1969 Professor MALLOWS retired, by which time the Faculty had played such an important part in the field of town and regional planning education and training that for the most part the present generation of practicing planners in this country had been trained at Wits or had received their training from holders of the Wits Diploma in Town Planning and, furthermore, that every other university town or regional planning course in south Africa had either been derived from the Faculty's Department of Town and Regional Planning, as in the case of the Universities of Natal and Pretoria, or had been actively influenced by that Department or its diploma holders, as in the case of the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Potchefstroom.

During 1969 there was a further development in the structure of the Faculty of Architecture in that full departmental status was granted to building science under Professor D M Calderwood and again, during 1970, in that such status was granted also to Quantity Surveying under G W John, a Wits diplomat in quantity surveying who was appointed an Associate Professor in the Department of Quantity Surveying and as the Head of that Department in 1971. There were 65 quantity surveying students at the time and a staff of two full-time and four part-time teachers in the Department of Quantity Surveying.

At the same time the Department of Building Science had played an active part together with the Building Industries Federation (South Africa) in creating the South African Institute of Building which was established in 1970 to fulfill the need of the building industry in this country for a professional body of its own, with the main object of promoting the art, science, technology and practice of building and education in these fields and also of encouraging research. This body, whose membership consists, inter alia, of graduates, students and professors and lecturers in Building and Building Science at o South African university, enables a direct link to be maintained between the Department of Building Science and the building industry as a corporate body.

Another important development at this time in relation to the Faculty of Architecture and particularly in relation to its Department of Town and Regional Planning was the creation by the University of a Choir of Urban and Regional Studies to which Professor T J D Fair, Professor of Geography at the University of Southern Illinois, USA was appointed. This Chair was the first of its kind in South Africa and was established at Wits for the purpose of conducting research into urban and regional problems of the Witwatersrand and nearby areas.

In 1970, too, the teaching staff in the Department of Architecture was strengthened by the appointment of a senior Lecturer in Architecture of H M J PRINS, a wits architectural graduate with many years of professional experience and a fine record of achievement particularly as a member of the firm of HANSON TONKIN AND HARRIS of Johannesburg and Durban until he retired there from in order to devote himself to teaching architecture.

But undoubtedly the most significant event of the year 1970 not only as far as the Faculty of Architecture but also as far as the University itself was concerned was the conferment of the B Arch degree on Abdool-Aziz Ahmed TAYOB who thus became the first Indian to graduate with a degree in architecture in South Africa.

In 1971 J M SHUNN, a member or the teaching staff in the Department of Architecture, was appointed an Associate professor in recognition of the 25 years of service which he had by then rendered in that Department and in the Faculty of Architecture and in that year, too, the University acknowledged the service of U R TOMASELLI, a teacher in the School of Architecture for the some period at that time. 1971, however, was also the year of Professor J FASSLER's untimely death which was a severe blow to the University, the effects of which were mitigated only by the fact that he had already completed his design of the Senate House, and also by the fact that because the Wits School of Architecture still urgently needed teaching staff, the Urban Action Teaching Group offered its services as a teaching group to the University and these services were gratefully accepted. This Group was an offshoot of the Urban Action Group which had been formed some four years previously by a few past students of the Wits School of Architecture, notably G J GALLAGHER, W O MEYER and I SCHLAPOBERSKY, with the object of encouraging the sound development of cities in South Africa both in their growth and in their renewal; of conferring with the Institute of South African Architects and also with the central and provincial governments and local authorities in this country on matters of urban development and renewal; of conserving buildings and landscapes of aesthetic and historical significance and of gathering and disseminating information by means of lectures, seminars and papers etc., in support of these objects. In 1971 and 1972 the Urban Action Teaching Group conducted the third-year courses in Design and the History of Architecture and the students greatly benefitted hereby. The teaching by the members of the Group was voluntary and the salaries which accrued to it for this service were set aside as a fund, part of which was used to finance the visit in 1970 of Robert Venturi and his wife Denise Scott-Brown of the USA as visiting lecturers in the Department of Architecture. This teaching service to the University by the Urban Action Teaching Group was invaluable to the Wits School of Architecture, the more so because it was most needed at that time and it is undoubtedly the most important contribution the Urban Action Group has made since it was formed some ten years ago. Notable amongst its members are B J BRITZ, S J BUFFLER, C D BURDE, B S COOKE, C J COOKE, H O FRANGS, G J GALLAGHER, D JACK, P JONES, A N LANGE, R LEVITAN, C M A LIBER, W O MEYER, F H PIENAAR, P M POPLAK, I C PRINSLOO, S RATHOUSE, R V RIPPON, H J SCHIRMACHER, I SCHLAPOBERSKY, B SPOONER, C STRETTON, B VLOOTHUIS and D WALDMAN. As most of them are in the 35 - 45 years of age group, it is hoped that the Urban Action Group will fulfill the promise it has shown in endeavouring to contribute to architecture and town planning and to architectural and town planning education and training in this country and particularly in the Transvaal where most of its members are located.

After the retirement of Professor MALLOWS the Department of Town and Regional Planning was directed by Acting Heads, J P Lea during 1970 - 1971 and J G Muller during 1971 - 1972. Upon the latter's resignation a committee consisting of Professors Mallows and Fair and Drs PATRICIOS and Lea was set up to manage the Department. Dr PATRICIOS was appointed Chairman of the Governing Committee and Acting Head of the Department for 1973 with Dr Leo alternating in this capacity for portion of 1974. In April 1974 Dr PATRICIOS was appointed to the Chair of Town and Regional Planning and become Head of the Department.

At the end of 1973 Professor HOWIE retired due to failing health. He died in 1974, at the age of 61, at a time when architectural education in South Africa, as indeed elsewhere throughout the world, had come to be rigorously investigated and reviewed. The work of the Commission of lnquiry to investigate the Education and Training of Architects in South Africa under the chairmanship of Dr T L Webb, appointed by the State President on 26 July 1974, is o notable case in point. The findings and recommendations of the Commission have still to be reported and made public and it is no exaggeration to say that Professor W D HOWIE would have made a major contribution to them not only because of his great knowledge and experience as an educator but also because of the depth of his perception, the soundness of his judgment, the breadth of his vision, and, not least, the practicality which he brought to bear on whatever problems he tackled. His untimely death was a great loss to architectural education in South Africa.

More than two years elapsed after his retirement before he was succeeded in the Chair of Architecture and as Head of the Department of Architecture. His successor was Professor A d' A M GUEDES who for 25 years had practised with distinction as an architect in Lourenco Marques (Maputo), Mocambique, and, like his predecessors Professors J FASSLER and W D HOWIE, had graduated at Wits as a product of its School of Architecture.

In 1973, too, Associate Professor John retired and was succeeded as Head of the Department of Quantity surveying by Professor C Walker who was also appointed to the chair of Quantity surveying which had been created in 1972. With this appointment Professor Walker, who for many years had practised with distinction as a quantity surveyor in Johannesburg, won the honour of becoming the first incumbent of the choir of Quantity Surveying at Wits, thirty years thus having elapsed since the University originally assumed full responsibility for education in quantity surveying.

Furthermore, 1973 saw the establishment of the J C Bitcon Chair of Building in the Department of Building Science, as the result of funds being mode available for this purpose by Mr J C Bitcon, a leading builder and industrialist of Johannesburg and a past president of the Building Industries Federation (South Africa), who died on 14 December 1976 at the age of ninety one. Mr T J Olivier, who had joined the staff of the Department of Building Science as a port-time lecturer in 1967 and who had assisted Professor Calderwood in developing the course for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Building, was appointed to this Chair and in 1976 professor Olivier become Head of the Department.

However, the end of 1973 also saw the retirement of Professor Heather MARTIENSSEN and this was followed in 1975 by the transfer of the Department of Fine Arts, which she had headed for nearly twenty years, from the John Moffat Building to its new abode in the east wing of the Senate House. With the Department its library was of course transferred as well and so ended the sharing of common facilities by the Faculty of Architecture and the Department of Fine Arts which to their immense mutual benefit had obtained for some thirty years. This has left room for expansion of the Faculty's library in the John Moffat Building. But it has also left a gap at Wits between architectural education on the one hand and visual and artistic education on the other which is likely to affect them adversely unless appropriate measures are taken to prevent this. The withdrawal in 1976 of the Fine Arts course from the qualifying courses for the Bachelor of Architecture degree would, in effect, seem to be a diminution of the academic content of those courses which may well require enlarging if they are to be as effective as possible in preparing tomorrow's architect properly and adequately for the problems and challenges that await him.

It is the University's intention [at time of writing] that the Faculty of Architecture and the Department of Fine Arts will be re-united in the future Environmental Sciences Building which will be located on the campus immediately west and north-west of the John Moffat Building and it is hoped that in due course this will enable the necessary blending of art and technology to be achieved to their mutual benefit.

Today [1977], in spite of the retarding effects of the current economic recession in South Africa, as in the western world in general, on the national requirements for higher education at university level, the Faculty of Architecture enjoys adequate support from the University and is in a strong position to cope with the demands made on it and with the developments it anticipates in the coming years. It was the first Faculty of its kind in this country to embrace the four related disciplines concerned with the production of the human environment, namely, architecture, quantity surveying, building science and town and regional planning and to house them together under one roof as it were. And with the experience it has gained over the past twelve years it is in a unique position to ensure that justice is done to each and all of these disciplines and to their development as integral elements of a unified whole.

Ref:

Bryer, M. The Faculty of Architecture of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and its role in the community. Faculty of Architecture. University of the Witwatersrand. 1977: pp 95
(Note that only Pages 2 to 27 have been transcribed for this Artefacts entry – readers requiring additional information should consult the original document.)

[Submitted by William MARTINSON]

See also:
University of the Witwatersrand
University of the Witwatersrand Campus



Contact Artefacts please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.