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Summer Place
Humewood, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Gerda M GUILLUM-SCOTT: Architect

Date:1983-1985
Type:Flats
Style:Post Modern
Status:Extant
Street:Marine Drive

The building was the subject of much discussion at the time of its design and construction. It was the city's first post modern building and stood out against the rather dull architecture that had dominated this section of the beachfront since the 1950's. Sadly the building was constructed as a "Design and Build" type contract. The architects were appointed to only carry out the design and planning stages. Detailed design and site supervision were done by the developers. Inevitably, this resulted in cost cuts and much of the quality of the original design was lost or much diluted during the course of construction, perhaps most notably in the large asymmetrical arch at the ground and first floor demarcating the entrance to the building. This was originally intended to contain a stair leading to a fully glazed entrance lobby, with red mosaic tile wall. The arch now contains a collection of random cut outs on a rather muddy wall. The bay windows were also envisaged as full height red frames. A down-stand beam construction unfortunately replaced the flat slabs in the original design and these beams reduce the impact of the windows, both internally and externally. The use of bold colour often featured in Post Modern Architecture. In comparison to the completed project the red and white proposed by the architects would have been a subtle gesture but even this was considered too bold!

(Gerald Humphrey, August 2017)