Architecture, State Modernism and Cultural Nationalism in the Apartheid Capital
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This book is the first comprehensive investigation of the architecture of the apartheid state in the period of rapid economic growth and political repression from 1957 to 1966 when buildings took on an ideological role that was never remote from the increasingly dominant administrative, legislative and policing mechanisms of the regime. It considers how this process reflected the usurpation of a regional modernism and looks to contribute to wider discourses on international postwar modernism in architecture.
Buildings in Pretoria that came to embody ambitions of the apartheid State for industrialisation and progress serve as case studies. These were widely acclaimed projects that embodied for apartheid officials the pursuit of modernisation but carried latent apprehensions of Afrikaners about their growing economic prospects and cultural estrangement in Africa. It is a less known and marginal story due to the dearth of material and documents buried in archives and untranslated documents. Many of the documents, drawings and photographs in the book are unpublished and include classified material and photographs from National Nuclear Research Centre, negatives of 1960s from Pretoria News, and documents and pamphlets from Afrikaner Broederbond archives. State architecture became the most iconic public manifestation of an evolving expression of white cultural identity as a new generation of architects in Pretoria took up the challenge of finding form to their prospects and beliefs. It was an opportunistic faith in Afrikaners who urgently needed to entrench their vulnerable and contested position on the African continent. The shift from provincial town to apartheid capital was swift and relentless. Little was left to stand in the way of the ambitions and aim of the state as people were uprooted and forcibly relocated, structures torn down, and block upon block of administration towers and slabs erected across Pretoria.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in architectural history as well as those with an interest in postcolonial studies, political science and social anthropology.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "South Africa Builds …"
Strains of Postwar Modernism
Afrikaner Cultural Nationalism
"Others" and "Ourselves"
1. Apartheid Ideology and Architectural Form: State Building in Pretoria
Transformation of the Afrikaner in the City
"Emergence of the Spirit"
Kunsmuseum in Arcadia Park
2. Atomic Research Centre
Language of Science and Redemption
Modernism on the Highveld
3. Volkseie: Afrikaners and the University of Pretoria
National Retrieval of the Past
"On the Forefront of Development"
4. Emerging Traditions: The Vernacular in "Separate Development"
Vernacular Architectural Science
The Southerner’s Approach to the Modern
Preservation of Cultures
"Native Dormitory Suburbs"
5. Norman Eaton’s Glass Cabinet: Wachthuis
Curiosity for Things African
"Can We Develop a Distinct South African Style in Architecture?"
Displacement: South African Police Headquarters
6. Hubris: Isolated Edifices, State Apparatuses and a Depleted Vision
New Vernacular of the Curtain Wall
Munitoria: Municipal Administration
Conclusion: Architecture for Ourselves
Narratives of Difference
The Chosen and the Unchosen
Epitaph for a Square
Hilton Judin is architect and director of postgraduate architecture in School of Architecture & Planning at Wits University. He has developed a number of exhibitions, including display of apartheid state documents and public video testimonies [setting apart] with History Workshop in Johannesburg and District Six Museum in Cape Town. He was curator and editor (with Ivan Vladislavić) of blank____ Architecture, apartheid and after for the Netherlands Architecture Institute. He was in practice with Nina Cohen on Nelson Mandela Museum in Mvezo and Qunu, and Living Landscape Project in Clanwilliam. He edited the volume Falling Monuments, Reluctant Ruins: Persistence of the Past in the Architecture of Apartheid. He is working on the Political Evolution of Community Building, and with History Workshop on the conference and anthology In Whose Place? Confronting the Vestiges of the Colonial Landscape in Africa. He continues with compilation of an Anatomy of Apartheid.