oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die Staatartilleriekaserne (Departement Publieken Werken 1887-1889) en die militêre Klubgebou (Public Works Department 1901-1910): ? vergelykende argitektoniese studie

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The Departement Publieke Werken of the South African Republic and the Public Works Department (PWD) of the Transvaal Colony are compared with respect to intent, personalities, methods/procedures and architectural result. The method of comparison comprises extant documentation as well as existing buildings. It appears that the Publieke Werken had a cultural mission that went beyond satisfying functional requirements of state accommodation; the latter being the main scope of the PWD. As regards personalities, Wierda was head-hunted in the Netherlands, whereas the PWD appointed colonial officers, resourcing work of architectural significance to private practitioners. The methods/procedures of the Publieke Werken were akin to the European individualistic studio with an artistic leader, while the PWD reflected the contemporary industrial production, based on standardisation and repetition. This lead to the Publieke Werken to produce contextualised buildings characterized by concatenation, enfilade and hierarchy, while the contrasting PWD produced buildings less contextualised and conceived in a mechano-like mode, ""breaking"" the monotony by selfconscious interventions.

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