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FURNER, Arthur Stanley

Born: 1892 06 23
Died: 1971 07 19

Architect

SACA:
Reg No: 38
Year registered: 1927

ARIBA (1920); TPIA (1927); ISAA (1927); FRIBA (1938).

Turner was among the pioneers of modern architecture in South Africa. It is not yet certain where in England he was born, but he studied at the Architectural Association in London from 1910 until 1913, when, according to HERBERT (1975:11), Furner turned briefly to painting and spent the remainder of 1913 at the Slade School of Art before returning to architecture. He entered the Royal Academy Schools and, according to his ARIBA nomination papers (1920), studied there for a few months before the outbreak of the First World War. He later recalled having had Edwin LUTYENS as a lecturer there. During 1914 he was also working in the office of Paul Waterhouse as an assistant. His travelling experience during this period consisted of two months on the continent in 1911, when he visited the south of France and northern Italy. In 1914 he travelled to Italy again, visiting Rome, Florence and Venice among other cities before enlisting for active service on the outbreak of war. He served in the army in India and Mesopotamia and spent six weeks in South Africa, returning to England once the war was over. He 'took a refresher course under Atkinson at the A.A.', sat the RIBA special examination for ex-servicemen in December 1919 and was elected an Associate member of the RIBA in 1920. At the time he was living at 12 Normandy Avenue, High Barnet in Hertfordshire.

Furner did not immediately enter practice but turned to teaching. After a short spell teaching at the Architectural Association, he took up Professor AE Richardson's invitation to teach at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He was on the brink of forming a partnership with a colleague at the Bartlett School, Hector Corfiato, when the post of a full-time senior lectureship in Architecture at University of the Witwatersrand was advertised. Furner was successful in his application and arrived in South Africa in July 1925. He seems to have made it his business to meet Herbet BAKER before leaving for South Africa since Baker noted in a letter to Professor GE PEARSE (May 1925, British School at Rome) 'Furner came to see me and I liked him very much. South Africa is lucky in its architectural teaching' (FASSLER Papers). Furner was officially appointed full-time senior lecturer at the School of Architecture in July 1925, taking over duties from Gordon LEITH and Freddy WILLIAMSON. Early in 1926 he was appointed editor of the South African Architectural Record on the resignation of EH WAUGH, contributing articles on various subjects but focussing on town planning in South Africa. He remained editor for three years, and resigned towards the end of 1928 when he resigned from the University to enter into partnership with KALLENBACH & KENNEDY (cf KALLENBACH, KENNEDY & FURNER).

His influence on the design work of this firm was pronounced. An assistant in the office at the time, W WAGNER, stated that in the partnership KALLENBACH brought in the work, KENNEDY was the technical man and Furner was the architect. Contemporary German architectural styles influenced the design work of the office and brought it onto an international platform. Furner, already widely known through his writings, was held in considerable respect in the profession and HOWDEN spoke for many when he wrote in Furner's RIBA Fellowship papers (1938) that Furner 'was one of the outstanding architects of South Africa'. He was elected a Life Member of the Institute in 1965.

In 1959 FURNER was listed as a partner in the firm KENNEDY, FURNER, IRVINE-SMITH & JOUBERT at 802 Leisk House, corner Bree & Rissik Streets, (Box 2493), Johannesburg.

In 1923 FURNER married Chrisina Mary 'Mollie' Gibson. FURNER died in 1971 and Mollie in 1974 and they are both buried in Main Cemetry Haenertsburg, Limpopo. (Information supplied by Brenda McKeague, great niece of Mollie Gibson.)

(AB&E Sep 1926:2; Arch SA Sep/Oct 1983:42ff The Furner interlude by BS COOKE; ARIBA nom papers (1920) 2972; FRIBA nom papers (1938) 3383; ISAA mem list; SAAR Dec 1928:224 Stanley Furner, an appreciation by a student; Wagner 1990.)

Publ:
The modern movement in architecture, publ 2 pts SAAR Dec 1925:87-89; SAAR Mar 1925: 6-8; Review: Le Corbusier - L'art decoratif d'jourd'hui, SAAR Jun 1926:49; Causerie, SAAR Jun 1926:43; Causerie, SAAR Sep 1926:70; Pretoria Technical College competition, SAAR Dec 1926:94-98; Contemporary architectural magazines, publ 2 pts SAAR Dec 1926: 110-11; SAAR Mar 1927:50; Johannesburg and the need for a civic survey, SAAR Jun 1926:31-4; The need for town planning - a paper read to the municipal assn of Vereeniging, SAAR Oct 1929:136-9; The need for town planning, SAAR Jun 1930:50-8; Report on the architectural competition for the proposed town hall, Nigel, SAAR Nov 1938:434.)

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 FURNER

Beck, Haig (Editor). 1985. UIA International Architect : Southern Africa (Issue 8). London: International Architect. pp 58

Chipkin, Clive M. 1993. Johannesburg Style - Architecture & Society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Phillip. pp 68, 120, 145, 155, 157-158

Chipkin, Clive M. 2008. Johannesburg Transition - Architecture & Society 1950 - 2000. Johannesburg: STE Publishers. pp 55, 56, 108, 458

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 64, 147, 149, 154

Herbert, Gilbert. 1975. Martienssen & the international style: The modern movement in South African architecture. Cape Town - Rotterdam: AA Balkema. pp 5, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51, 55, 56, 57, 66, 76, 84, 92, 104, 105, 109, 153, 162, 173, 176, 180, 182, 233, 234, 236, 247

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 90, 184

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 93, 144

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp F14b

Chapters in books citing FURNER

Various. A Biographical history: in 1985. UIA International Architect : Southern Africa (Issue 8): pp 58