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JONAS, Kurt

Born: 1914
Died: 1942

Architect


Jonas's family came to South Africa in 1894 and Kurt Jonas was born in South Africa. In about 1918 the family returned to Germany and Jonas was educated at the Lessing (?) Gymnasium in Frankfurt am Main and registered as a law student at Berlin University. The coming to power of Hitler precipitated the family's return to South Africa in 1934. That same year Jonas enrolled as a student in the Architectural school at the University of the Witwatersrand. As a fourth year student he worked in H LE ROITH's office in Johannesburg on several projects, among them Radoma Court and an unidentified school building. 'Brilliant, stable' Jonas was an outstanding designer. He was also described as 'learned, scholarly and suave' and contributed scholarly articles to the South African Architectural Record. He was responsible for organising the congress on Town Planning in 1938 for the Architectural Society of University of the Witwatersrand and organised the congress on Abstract Art in about 1939 for the same society. He was awarded the Union Government post graduate research scholarship in 1942 and, having been ill for some time, died in Jerusalem the same year.

B Arch 1939; ARIBA 1941; MA 1941. (Herbert 1975; SAAR Apr 1942:103, 110-11 obit by RD MARTIENSSEN)

Publ: Letter: reply to GRINKER'S letter - Le Corbusier and other fallacies, SAAR Mar 1936:92-3; Towards a philosophy of architecture, SAAR Jan 1936:8-18; Psychology and architecture, SAAR Apr 1936:117-25; The language of architecture, SAAR Aug 1936: 249-257; Report on a design for a concert hall, SAAR Sep 1936:308-12; Painting in ancient Crete, SAAR Sep 1936:318-22; Elsa Dziomba, Sculptor, SAAR Jun 1936:201-3; The genesis of a house, SAAR Mar 1937:100-115; So What?, SAAR Jun 1937:284-287; Introduction, SAAR Jul 1937: 296-297; The architect in the social system, SAAR Jun 1938:204-15; Introduction, SAAR Aug 1938:268-269; Rand architecture: the modern movement in Johannesburg, Cape Times Annual 1938:101-5; Colour - as the Greeks saw it, SAAR Nov 1939:476-484; Report on first half of studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem, under the Union Government post graduate research scholarship, SAAR Apr 1942:112-3

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 by JONAS

Connell, PH; Irvine-Smith, C; Jonas, K; Kantorowich, R & Wepener, FJ . 1939. Native housing. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand, unpublished collective BArch thesis