Was born in Cape Town and matriculated at Grey High School in Port Elizabeth. He attended the School of Architecture, University of Cape Town for a year (1928-9) before leaving for the University of Liverpool School of Architecture, England from where he graduated in 1933. Before he left Cape Town he received some office experience in the office of J LONSTEIN (1928-9) and added to this experience by working for several months for the Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Spain, in 1930 (Madrid Municipality). While overseas he spent four months travelling in Egypt and Palestine (1931) and four months visiting Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain (1932). Before returning to South Africa he spent six months working in the office of HTH Wydeveld in Amsterdam and two months at Caviliere in the south of France where he was engaged on a survey for the Academie Europèene Mediterranèe. Policansky returned to South Africa in 1934 and worked in Johannesburg for more than six months in the offices of COOK & COWEN and of KALLENBACH, KENNEDY & FURNER. He returned to Cape Town in 1935 where he set up practice. Among his first buildings was the CTC Bazaars in Plein St, Cape Town (1936), won in a limited entry competition, his design being described by a contemporary source as streamlined. The Judge Clothing Factory at Salt River (1937) attracted more attention, 'fresh in its method of functional expression ... the author of the design is obviously indulging in that architecture of adventure which is dear to the hearts of all those who have respect for the imaginative and constructive capacity underlying all creative work' (AB&E Jul 1938:12-13).
Policansky was among the avant-garde architects working in the Cape Town in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1941, early in the Second World War he closed his office and worked for the Cape Town Municipality. He re-opened his practice after the war and among his post-war work executed were building(s?) for Country Fair Foods at Fisantkraal. He appears to have retired in 1975.
ARIBA 1935; ISAA 1934; FRIBA 1945. (ARIBA nom papers (1935) 5774; FRIBA nom papers (1945) Isilili samsise Afrika 1(1) Oct 1977:45-63, article by P Righini; Rennie 1978b); Paul Righini has documented Policansky's work thoroughly and his article contains a full list of buildings and an account of Policansky's career, not given here.
All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
Articles citing POLICANSKY
|Righini, Paul. 1977. The work of Max Policansky. isilili sam sise africa : a journal of architecture and human settlements - University of Cape Town. Volume 1 Number 1 45-61|
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