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List of Projects

BRINK, Christiaan Strauss

Born: 1920 02 16
Died: 1992 05 20

Architect

SACA:
Reg No: 883
Year registered: 1944

BArch. (Cape Town), Dipl. T.P. (L'pool) (T.p.)

1920Born in Harrismith, Free State on 16 February. His father was a book keeper

1923 – 1928Jan van Riebeeck High School, Cape Town. Did many pencil sketches, e.g. of Greek and Roman statues.

1938 - 1942Student at University of Cape Town (UCT) School of Architecture - Prof Thornton White was the Head of School. 1938 was TW's first year as Professor of Architecture at UCT.

1938Silhouette illustrations for book 'My eie outjies' by C. van Oversteeg. Cape Town: H.A.U.M. v/h Jacques Dusseau & Co. 1939.

1940Third Year Medal for best studio work design, UCT.

1942Final thesis, November at UCT

1946Married Johanna (Joan) Cornelia Schoon (born 19 December 1920, died 30 July 2009) on 19 December.

1947Awarded British Council Scholarship for August 1947 to June 1948 academic year to study Town and Regional Planning at the School of Civil Design, University of Liverpool. Prof Holford was the Head of School

1948Daughter Heléne Elizabeth born in UK on 6 January.

1949Employed at the Transvaal Provincial Administration on 4 January for 9 months ('Professor at Cape Town.' Pretoria News early 1965; Architecture SA. November + December 1992:10)

1950Small private practice in Wesley Building, Pretoria CBD, later assisted by Charles 'Swannie' SWANEPOEL, Harry BENADÉ and Ivor OLËN.

1951Part-time lecturer, University of Pretoria (UP) School of Architecture on 28 November. Responsible for Design and History of Architecture subjects. Prof Attie MEIRING was the Head of School (Architecture SA. Nov + Dec 1992:10).
Undertakes a study tour of hospitals in the Congo, Kenya, Tanganyika and Mozambique for the Transvaal Provincial Administration. 'Professor at Cape Town.' Pretoria News early 1965.

1952Son Basil Niel born in Pretoria on 6 April.

1954Layout Plan for Experimental Farm ('Proefplaas') in extent 28 morgen approved in December (Ad Destinatum 1960:425).

1955Extension to the Administration Building (now the Mathematics Building), UP (Ad Destinatum 1960:303). Glass House for Horticultural Department, UP (Ad Destinatum 1960:279).

1956Commissioned to design headquarters office building for the Peri-Urban Areas Health Board in Pretoria. Tenders for construction of the building called for by the end of 1956. . 'Peri-Urban HQ in city will cost £158,000.' The Pretoria News. 27 August 1956.

1957Asterhof, a seven storey residence for 152 women, completed in March on the corner of Prospect and Hilda Streets (Tukkies newspaper 1 March 1957; Architecture SA. Nov + Dec 1992:10; Ad Destinatum 1987:342).

"Residences for Students
In 1957, C. Strauss Brink set a high standard for such buildings connected with the University [of Pretoria] with his Women (sic) Student's Hostel in Sunnyside (sic – Hatfield) with sun protection of louvred steel hoods and the use of fresh, bright colours." (Greig 1971:203)

1959226 employees of the Peri-Urban Areas Health Board moved into their new office building on the corner of Bosman and Schoeman Streets, Pretoria CBD at the beginning of May. The building cost £228 000 (Rand Daily Mail. 7 May 1959):
"Peri-Urban Building, the H.B. Phillips (sic – Philips) Building, Schoeman and Bosman Streets, 1959, by C. Strauss Brink.
A building for the public and for administration with a personality all of its own which brings pleasure to passers by and to those who use it and work in it. Even people who say they "can’t stand this modern stuff" (and there are still a few) appreciate this architect's lively approach to the design of a city building and decorative use of colour in modern materials.
The unusual colours of white and olive green in the pattern are combined with severe black walls which emphasise the delicacy of the fenestration. South American (sic) sunshades and a garden on the roof over the high banking hall provide the street scene with a new dimension of architectural experience." (Greig 1971:207).
'Women's Hostel, University of Pretoria , (architect, C. Strauss Brink)' and 'Offices, Pretoria (architect, C. Strauss Brink), for the headquarters of the Peri-Urban Areas Health Board' The Architectural Review (Commonwealth I: Special Issue. Volume 426 Number 752. October 1959:185-186).

1960Undertook study tour to Japan and South America to inspect large sport stadiums with a view to designing and building a stadium to the south of UNISA. This did not materialise.

1961First half of year in Rome. Children in St George's English School for 6 months; Joan acted in play 'Dark of the moon'. Strauss and Joan became friends with Luigi (civil engineer) and Anthea (actress) Triossi. Klaradyn, a seven storey residence for women similar to Asterhof, completed in February (Ad Destinatum 1987:342). 'Peri-Urban Areas Health Board Headquarters Building, Pretoria.' S.A. Architectural Record May, 1961:9-15.

1962Organised and accompanied a group of University of Pretoria architecture students on an architectural study tour of Italy during the recess, November 1962 to January 1963. Pro Arte "Vreedsaam" (Pro Arte "Peaceful"). Die Perdeby 26 April 1963. There and back with Lloyd Triestino's Europa and Italia ocean liners, trips along west coast of Africa.

1963Renovated existing dilapidated house at 267 Bloed Street, Pretoria as home-office. Created a central courtyard, as Pompeian house and relocated his practice to this locality.
Organised and accompanied a second group of architecture students at UP on an architectural study tour of Italy in 1963/64 recess, similar to 1962/63 trip.

1964Prof J.P. Duminy at UCT asked Strauss to apply for Head of School of Architecture as Prof THORNTON WHITE was retiring. Joan opens in 'Die Dubbelbed' (the Double Bed) on 2 March 1964 in the National Theatre, Pretoria. 'First night glamour.' The Pretoria News March 6, 1964.

1965Head of School of Architecture, UCT in July. Renovated own house in Palmboom Avenue, Newlands using second-hand doors and sliding sash windows. Prof Thornton White dies a few months after retiring (Architect and Builder 1965).

1966Strauss Brink's daughter Heléne (Lienkie) begins studies in Architecture at UCT

1967Serious student insurrection against Strauss Brink with support by Senior BOLAND. Strauss Brink dismisses Boland, but further undermining by unverified individuals/colleagues, possibly Hugh FLOYD continues. In the early 2000s Ivor PRINSLOO confided to Basil Brink in Johannesburg that he had seen evidence of Floyd's anti-Strauss Brink actions in documents on the School’s files. Prinsloo added: "They tried the same with me." Architect Revel FOX on an architectural school inspection panel might have been a contributor to a negative assessment by the RIBA of the School.

1968Organises and accompanies a group of Architectural and Fine Art students at UCT on a study tour of Italy during 1968/69 UCT recess, on similar basis as was undertaken at the University of Pretoria. Commissioned by UCT to design three eleven-storey (UCT initially asked for 17 storeys, but local residents objected) student residences for men and women. Two were built and were not well received, probably because the towers were not in scale with surrounding low buildings.

1969Brink C.S. 'The inspiration of Italy.' UCT, Vol III No 8 December 1969: 2-7.

1970Basil begins studies in Architecture at UCT with Roelof UYTENBOGAARDT and Dennis PLAYDON as Studio Masters

1971Strauss and Joan buy and later renovate a one-bedroom flat in Rome in a run-down building on Via Principe Amadeo close to the main railway station

1972Murray and Stewart awarded the contract to build the two 11-storey residences on Main Road, Rosebank at a cost of R2,7m (David Douglas, Cape Times, 26 February 1972). Strauss and Joan buy and renovate a dilapidated semi-detached house at 13 Wandel Street, Gardens to use as Strauss' architectural office. Strauss Brink appointed to restore and renovate Irma Stern's house-as-museum in Rosebank, Cape Town. The Irma Stern Museum is opened on Friday 9 June by Prof N Dubow (Die Burger. 10 June 1972). Strauss and Joan buy 'The Shed' with business rights at 15 Wandel Street, next to their house at 13 Wandel Street. Strauss converts the Shed into an architectural office, and links it to the adjacent house.

1973Dutch Reformed Church for Keurboom congregation, corner of Cook Lane and St Michaels Street, Claremont.

1974Tugwell Hall women's residence, UCT completed at beginning of academic year (Burnett M. 'Comfortable home for students'. Weekend Argus. 25 May 1974; C Strauss Brink's letter of 26 July 1984 to Ms E Shearing, Tugwell Hall). Resigns in May as Head of School to continue with private practice and to be free of admin burden as well as undermining and 'psychological warfare' typical in Schools of Architecture. He is succeeded by Ivor PRINSLOO.

1975Leo Marquard Hall men's residence completed January in time for new academic year.

1977Strauss and Joan buy two tiny adjacent 'Chambres de Bon' (maid's rooms) in Rue de l' Ancienne Comedie, 6th Arondissement, Paris. They convert the two rooms into a tiny attic apartment.

1981 - 1992Strauss buys his grandfather's 'De Bome' house and small holding in Springfontein, Free State, where he and Joan retire. They renovate and add to 'De Bome', between trips to Johannesburg to visit grand children, daughter and son; to Rome and Paris, and a 4-month 'round the world' ocean liner cruise.

1992Strauss Brink dies at 'De Bome', Springfontein on 20 May. He is laid to rest in the Springfontein cemetery where his parents and grand parents are also buried.

Basil Niel BRINK
October 2011

References

Architecture SA. Obituaries. Nov + Dec 1992: 10.
Brink C.S. 'Huise moet weer binnehowe met fonteine kry.' (Houses should have courtyards with fountains again) Lecture to S.A. Art Society reported on by F.F.B. presumably in Die Transvaler (?) 1962 or 1963.
Brink C.S. 'The inspiration of Italy.' UCT, Vol III No 8 December 1969: 2-7.
David D. '2 U.C.T. Residences to cost R2,7m.' Cape Times Business Report. 26 February 1972.
Die Burger. 'Irma Stern Museum.' 10 June 1972.
Greig D. A Guide To Architecture In South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. 1971.
Rautenbach C.H. editor. Ad Destinatum: Gedenkboek van die Universiteit van Pretoria, 1910-1960. Johannesburg: Voortrekkerpers. 1960.
South African Architectural Record. 'Women students' hostel, University of Pretoria. Architect C Strauss Brink' January 1960: 20-23.
South African Architectural Record. 'Peri-urban Areas Health Board Headquarter Building, Pretoria. Architect C Strauss Brink.' May 1961: 9-15.
Spies I.J. and Heydenrych D.H. Ad Destinatum II: 'n Geskiedenis van die Universiteit van Pretoria, 1960-1982. Pretoria: University of Pretoria. 1987.
The Architectural Review. 1959. Offices, Pretoria (architect, C. Strauss Brink), for the headquarters of the Peri-Urban Areas Health Board. The Architectural Review. Commonwealth I: Special Issue. Volume 426 Number 752. October 1959: 185-186.
The Pretoria News. 'Peri-Urban HQ in city will cost £158,000.' 27 August 1956.
van Oversteeg C. My eie outjies. Illustrations by CS Brink. Cape Town: H.A.U.M. v/h Jacques Dusseau & Co. 1939.
University of Pretoria. UP Space available online

A short reminiscense by Schalk LE ROUX

Books citing BRINK

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 203, 207

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, 182

ISAA. 1969. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1968-1969 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1968-1969. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 89, 156