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FAGAN, Gabriël Theron (Gawie)

Born: 1925 11 15


Reg No: 1400
Year registered: 1952

BArch 1952 (Pretoria)

Born in the Cape Peninsula; grew up with a love of the sea, sailing, and the Cape architectural heritage. Twelve years as chief architect for a commercial bank with countrywide coverage aroused a strong interest in subtle regional differences. The Cape Town practice started in 1963 has always included much conservation, often in country villages. This has developed an intimate understanding of the beautiful vernacular architecture, so that lessons about sense of belonging, structural integrity, plasticity, proportion and scale are inherently part of new work, without being conscious references.

He practices under the name of GABRIËL FAGAN ARCHITECTS.

[UIA Issue 8, 1985]

FAGAN, Gabriel Theron, B.Arch. (Pta); Architect; Own practice, C.T.; Architect in Charge, Volkskas Bank, Pta. 1952 - 63; Awards: Cape Provincial Inst. of Architects' Awards of Merit, 1968, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1985, Cape Times' Centenary Award 1983, S.A. Academy of Science & Arts' Gold Medal, Simon v.d. Stel Foundation's Gold Medal, National Monuments Ccl.'s Gold Medal, Award of Merit from I.S.A.A. 1987, Gold Medal 1988; Co-Author "Church Street in the Land of Waveren"; Author: monthly column in Die Burger under the pseudonym "Argibel", regular articles in the Conservation Journal Restorica; A.R.I.B.A.; b. 15 Nov 1925, C.T.; s.o. Henry Allan Fagan and Jessie Fagan born Theron; m. 17 Dec. 1949, Gwendoline Elizabeth Gannon, 1s. 3d.; Educ.: Jan van Riebeeck; Rec.: sailing, flying, photography.

[Ref: Hayes, S.V. 1989. (ed) Who's Who of Southern Africa 1989 - 90. Who's Who of Southern Africa cc. Johannesburg. pg 216. Submitted by William MARTINSON]

Gawie is married to Gwen FAGAN. Their son, Henry FAGAN, is an engineer.

Gawie FAGAN was the Sophia Gray Laureate in 1991 and the Milde McWilliams Memorial Lecture Laureate in 2012.

He was invited to participate in the 50 year Anniversary of the University of Pretoria School of Architecture Alumni Exhibition held at the Pretoria Art Gallery on 7-25 July 1993.

Resident Architect Volkskas Bank, 1952 – 1963.
Responsible for maintenance and recycling of their buildings throughout South Africa, and designed 50 new banks during this period.
Private practice in Cape Town since 1964.
Part time lecturer in design - University of Cape Town, 1970 - 1972.
Monthly columnist on architecture for the Cape Town daily paper, "Die Burger" October 1984 – June 1987.
Co-author of the book "Church Street in the Land of Waveren" which records the restoration of Tulbagh – 1974 after the 1969 earthquake.
Photographer for book "Roses at the Cape of Good Hope" by Gwen Fagan – first published 1988, reprinted 1989 & 1995.
Author of the book "Twenty Cape Houses", first published 2005.
Author of book "Brakdak: Flatroofs in the Karoo", first published 2008.
Foundation and Honorary life member Vernacular Architecture Society.
Member of the Architectural Heritage Committee, South African Institute of Architects 1982 - 2007.
Member of the Council for the Environment 1982 - 1994.
Lecturer at the V&A symposium on Identity and Sustainability in London, November 2009.

Member of the board of trustees of:
Bo-Kaap Trust from 1990 - 1994
Cape Town Heritage Trust from 1988
Groot Constantia Trust – board member and honorary member from 2002
Simon van der Stel Foundation, life member

Special Awards:
1991 Fulton Award: Klein Constantia: New Maturation Cellar, Constantia Valley, Cape Town
1993 Fulton Award: Environmental Sculpture, Cape Point Entrance Gate
2000 Laureatus Award Alumni Board University of Pretoria
2008 Hon. Fellow of the American Institute of Architects
2010 City of Cape Town Civic Honours

Energy Effective Design:
1990 ESKOM Energy Effective Design Award for Klein Constantia New Wine Cellar

Awards for Conservation Work:
1979 Cape Times Centenary Award
1982 Tony Williams-Short Award
1984 Cape Tercentenary Foundation Award
2007 The CAPTRUST Award for Environmental Achievement

1982 Winner of Trans Atlantic Cape to Punta del Este yacht race
1982 The South African Sport Merit Award: Navigation
2003 Winner Transatlantic Yacht Race to Bahia in his class, 3rd overall

Gold Medal Awards:
1973 Gold medal with G E Fagan from the National Monuments Council
1975 Gold medal from the South African Academy for Literature and Science
1982 Gold medal from the Simon van der Stel Foundation
1988 Gold medal of Honour from the South African Institute of Architects
1989 The Order for Meritorious Service: Gold (State President's Award)
2000 Cape Tercentenary Foundation: Molteno Medal
2003 Chancellor's Award, University of Pretoria

Honorary Doctorate Awards:
1991 D ARCH (HC) University of the Orange Free State
1993 D Phil (HC) University of Stellenbosch

Successful agitations for city improvements

Critical input regarding city engineer Dr.Morris's proposed freeways and parking garage in a sensitive part of the city which would have involved extensive demolition of heritage buildings.

Agitation in the media and by public meetings that the sea should be given back to Capetonians: February 1980. This led to the appointment of the Burggraaff Commission and the subsequent establishment of the V&A.

See the Fagan Collection on UP Space.