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HALL, Joseph Lockwood

Born: 1873 11 20
Died: 1941 02 12

Architect


Also referred to as LOCKWOOD HALL, Joseph.

Joseph Lockwood HALL designed at least three town halls in the Transvaal: Pretoria (1926), Standerton (1927-29) and Benoni (1934). He was responsible for a number of other buildings of interest; not enough is yet known of his work. Born in Yorkshire, England and educated at St Peter's School, York, HALL studied under H Tonge, architect and AW Turner, Art Master at York Art School from 1888; he entered the office of Demaine & Brierly, York in 1889 where he remained for five years. While still a student, HALL won a number of prizes: the National Bronze Medal at the York School of Art in 1891 with a design for a country house; the National Book Prize in 1891 for measured drawings and in the same year the Student Prize awarded by the York Architects' Association for a school design. In 1892 he won first prize at the Leeds Industrial Exhibition with a design for a labourer's cottage and again in 1892 won the National Book Prize with a design for a library. It seems that HALL was also interested in military affairs; by 1893 he was assistant instructor in construction classes at the School of Military Engineering, Chatham and later at the ROYAL ENGINEERS' Office in Woolwich.

In 1900 he married, departing soon afterwards for South Africa in order to take part in the Anglo-Boer War with the ROYAL ENGINEERS. He was in charge of building operations at Standerton cantonments after hostilities had ceased. During this war he won the Queen's Medal and five clasps and after the war he moved to Pretoria. Here he opened his first office practising for about nine months with JR BURG in about 1903. The 1904 directory listed him in partnership with one NICHOLSON. During these early years HALL entered all the competitions, or so it would seem - he was placed fourth in the competition for the Presbyterian Church, Pretoria (1906) (assessed by Herbert BAKER) and was placed fourth again in the competitions for Johannesburg College (?) and Jeppe Boys' High School, Johannesburg (1906) (assessor: the Public Works Department). HALL also claimed to have been closely involved, while employed by the TRANSVAAL COLONY PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT from 1908, with the design of the Pretoria Boys' High School and with the Pretoria Normal College buildings. At the time of his application for Licentiate membership of the RIBA (1910) he was working as an assistant in the Durban branch of the NATAL COLONY PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT assisting with the conversion of the old Durban Town Hall into the new Post Office. Although both he and a colleague, E OSBOURN, had been sent as assistants, HALL was retained at the request of the District Engineer for the Coast.

In 1910 he collaborated with FG McINTOSH on a design for the Johannesburg City Hall competition in which they were placed fifth (Leonard Stokes was the assessor.) HALL was working in Cape Town by 1912, appointed second grade draughtsman in the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT and shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, joined the South African Engineers Corps. He took part in the South West Africa campaign in 1914 and 1915, and was promoted to the rank of captain in 1915. It was during this campaign that he was wounded in a foot, the pain of which remained with him all his life, at least one of his later co-workers commented on his peppery temper due largely to this wound. It did not, however, affect his work: GEG LEITH, in letter accompanying HALL's 1921 application for Fellowship of the RIBA noted that HALL was a 'capable ... scrupulous architect.'

He returned to the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT after the war and lectured in construction in about 1924 at classes in architecture held in Pretoria. He remained with the PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT until 1926 when he won the competition for the Pretoria city hall (assossor of the competition being E Vincent HARRIS) in collaboration with FG McINTOSH. HALL executed the job almost alone since McINTOSH died shortly after the results of the competition were announced. HALL wrote McINTOSH's obituary and young WG McINTOSH who had worked in HALL's office was to write HALL's obituary in 1941.

HALL's best-known work is probably Pretoria city hall and indeed, FG McINTOSH's role in the competition is not generally mentioned; contemporary criticism of the completed building expressed disappointment with the result although there were also aspects which received favourable comment, such as the main hall where 'a classical theme of the Renaissance period has been treated ... with freedom and modernity' (AB&E Dec 1937:18). The cornice and pediment sculpture were, incidentally, modelled by the up and coming young sculptor Coert Steynberg. City magnate George Heys presented the city with the organ and carillon made by WW Kimball of Chicago. Although the competition for the city hall took place in 1926, the building only commenced in 1933 and completed in 1935 and since there was little money, the design had to be modified. Details verge on the utilitarian, emphasised by the use of manufactured granite for the greater part of the building. Pretoria city hall was the first of a number of town halls designed by HALL. In 1927 HALL was commissioned to design Standerton town hall, a much happier building which features red brick and a Palladian stucco portico, a pleasant combination familiar to Hall from his work on earlier buildings such as the Pretoria Normal College.

In 1934 HALL won the competition for Benoni town hall, commenced in 1936 and opened in 1938: 'Art and Utility combined in original adaptation of Free Renaissance style' was how it was described in Public Works of South Africa (1939:31-34 ill.) HALL was elected president of the Association of Transvaal Architects in 1927 and was elected tha first president of the Transvaal Provincial Institute of Architects after the passing of the new architects' and quantity surveyors' Private Act of 1927. He also served for a number of years on the committee of the TPIA and represented the TPIA on the Central Council. HALL died in Pretoria and the practice was continued by his son George HALL.

LRIBA 1911; ATA; FRIBA Cape Town 1921; FRSA; MCQS. (Burg 1989; FRIBA nom papers 1921; Greig 1971; Longland's Tvl dir 1904; LRIBA nom papers 1911; NAD PWD 2958/10; SAAR Sep 1934:248; SAAR Jun 1941:234 obit by WG McINTOSH; SAWW 1908, 1910).

Publ: FG McIntosh, SAAR Dec 1926:103 obit.

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 HALL

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 197

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

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 178

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp G14-H1

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 170