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BURG, James Stadler, Jimmy

Born: 1907 10 19
Died: 1989

Architect

SACA:
Reg No: 603
Year registered: 1935

DipArch 1931 (Witwatersrand)

Was the son of JR BURG and of Marie Burg (nee Stadler), born in Pretoria. By 1921 he was in high school and matriculated in 1925 whereupon he joined the Public Works Department in Pretoria as a trainee draughtsman in 1926. There he was a contemporary of G Lockwood HALL. While with the Public Works Department he studied architecture part-time at the Transvaal University College in Pretoria, studying building construction under C DEUCHAR, quantity surveying under H BELL-JOHN, design under AF LAWRIE and art under Grace Anderson (who later married the artist Walter Battiss). Burg considered the training in building construction at the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT to have been good since trainees studied on site at works such as the Pretoria General Hospital. In 1931 Burg's mother died and Burg qualified the same year with a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Witwatersrand. Burg's thesis, in Spanish Mission style for he knew LEITH was the examiner, was for a Country House and quarters (Burg 1989). In 1931 Burg transferred to the Public Works Department office at Port Elizabeth. He remained at this office for a year-and-a-half but designed no buildings there, acting merely as a recorder of works; (the office was in the Post Office Tower at the time.)

Burg returned to Pretoria in 1933 and in 1935 he left the Public Works Department to open a practice in Springs with CS LODGE (cf BURG & LODGE). In 1936 JR Burg needed help in Pretoria so Lodge went to help out and remained there. During these years Burg executed a number of works, those at Balfour for JFD Mostert and his family being the most interesting. Burg continued to work on his own in and around Springs but closed his office around 1942 and joined his father and Lodge in Pretoria (cf BURG, LODGE & BURG).

Burg was essentially a Pretoria architect, preferring the scale and nature of practice there. He executed a great number of works in the city with the firm. His best-known buildings date from the late 1950s: the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) buildings. The gates of the CSIR were designed and presented to the CSIR by Burg as a sign of gratitude for the work; the inspiration for the triangular design came from the idea of triangulation, a method of scientific calculation. Burg was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pretoria Zoo and recently (1980s) his firm was responsible for the design of the National Zoo of Saudi Arabia.

The firm BURG, LODGE & BURG went on to become BURG, LODGE & DOHERTY and then BURG DOHERTY BRYANT & PARTNERS.

(Burg 1989; Burg et al 1984; PSL 1934; SAAR Jan 1936:30)

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.

Books citing BURG

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 198, 204

SAWW & Ken Donaldson (Pty) Ltd. 1958. South African Who's Who 1958 : An illustrated biographical sketch book of South Africans with separate sections for the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and South West Africa. Johannesburg: Ken Donaldson (Pty) Ltd. pp 146