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BURG, Johannes Rienk

Born: 1874 03 06
Died: 1960 03 06

Architect

SACA:
Reg No: 12
Year registered: 1927

TPIA (1927); ISAA (1927).

Was born in Leeuwaarden, Friesland, Netherlands and trained at the Technical College in Leeuwaarden. He emigrated to the South African Republic aged 21 in 1895 to work for the Nederlandsch Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij (NZASM) (the Netherlands South African Railway Company). During this period he designed several small stations on the Lourenco Marques railway line. (Rex, 1974:375 lists him as first working for the ZAR DPW.) During the Anglo-Boer War he fought for the Republic, was captured and spent four years as a prisoner in India at Fort Abnednagar. Conditions there were so bad that he designed plumbing, toilets and showers for the camp. He earned enough money through woodcarving to pay for his own passage back at cessation of hostilities. He returned to Pretoria where, after a stint at the Transvaal Colony Department of Public Works, he set up practice in 1903 and married Marie Stadler of Stellenbosch the same year. Also in 1904, he entered into an association with J Lockwood HALL with a view to partnership at office no 4 Alexandra Buildings, Church Square (present site of First National [formerly Barclays] Bank). He suffered at the time under discrimination against Afrikaners and Hollanders. After nine months each went their own ways as 'their temperaments differed too much'(Burg 1989). In 1905 he commenced practice on his own account in Alexandra Buildings, Pretoria. He was given houses to do by the builder J Corbishly; one Ellis also gave him houses and he designed a number of these in the expanding suburbs of Waterkloof and Brooklyn, Pretoria. He was also involved in the development of the Pretoria Country Club area by South African Townships Company, who were encouraging building in the area. He began to get commercial buildings in Pretoria and opened an 'office' in Johannesburg (in 1925) which he visited twice a week on his motor bike. He built a garage for the Standard Motor Co and after the building was completed he closed the office. Burg designed several churches for the Dutch Reformed Church community.

In January 1920 Die Boerevrou published his 'plan vir n' plaashuis' (plan for a farmhouse), a rather staid work in brick and stone. In about 1925 Burg was commissioned to design a hospital for poor Afrikaners (to be the Zuid-Afrikaans Hospitaal) funded by the Netherlands Government; the building was begun by Burg but not completed by him as funds ran out. It was subsequently completed by P DYKSTRA. In 1936 Burg asked his son JS BURG and CC LODGE to join him in Pretoria. These two had just started in partnership in Springs at the time but Lodge went to help in Pretoria and a partnership was formed (cf BURG, LODGE & BURG). JR Burg was on the Board of the Pretoria Zoological Gardens and was involved in the design of some of its buildings. He retired in 1942 to Somerset West, opening a practice there before returning to Pretoria circa 1945/1946 where he worked in the office before retiring again in 1957. He died in Pretoria.

(Burg 1989; Burg et al 1984; Die Boerevrou Jan 1920:9; ISAA mem list; Lockhead's Guide 1913; Pretoriana no 96 Nov 1989; UTD 1915)

Submitted and entry for the Competition for the new Prime Minister's Residence - unplaced.

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 114, 196, 197-198, 203, 204

ISAA. 1959. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1958-1959 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1958-1959. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 88, 199

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp B15

Kesting, DP. 1978. Afrikaans Protestantse kerkbou : erfenis en uitdaging. Port Elizabeth: Unpublished PhD. pp

Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2012. A Platteland Pilgrimage : 102 country churches of South Africa . South Africa: Booktown Richmond Press. pp 10

Ploeger, Jan & De Kock, Gideon de V. 1989. Nederlandse emigrasie na Suid-Afrika 1800-1900. Port Elizabeth: University of Port Elizabeth. pp 41

Rex, Hermann Moritz. 1974. Die Lewe en Werk van Sytze Wierda in Nederland met verwysing na sy betekenis vir die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. Pretoria: Unpublished Ph.D. pp 375

Schoeman, Chris. 2011. Brothers in arms. Hollanders in the Anglo-Boer War. Cape Town: Zebra Press. pp 178