Tlhabane Town Hall
25°38'49.66" S 27°12'48.17" E Alt: 1192m
The Town Hall was completed during the late 1980's as part of the Tlhabane Town Centre development on Portion 11 of Erf 3582, Tlhabane Unit 1.
The Tlhabane Town Hall comprises a large hall, flanked on the the north and south sides by amorphous single storey administration office wings behind high parapet walls.
The building was constructed with red face brick in a stretcher bond on a plastered plinth with standard steel casement windows - with poorly resolved plastered lintels. The parapet walls to the office wings were capped with a horizontal band of face brick in a different colour.
The northeast and southwest facades of the Hall were both provided with a substantial, badly proportioned, pedimented entrance portico, each with a truncated triangular pediment supported on two pairs of circular concrete columns. The pediments and column pairs are both plastered and painted. A large diameter plaster ring was applied to the face of both of the pediments.
A substantial set of glazed timber doors provided public access into the building from beneath each of the porticos. Each set of doors had a substantial glazed fanlight in which a sign recording the building name 'TLHABANE TOWN HALL' was mounted. The acronym 'TH' was etched into the glass panels of each of the two centrally placed entrance doors.
The pedimented facades each has a specific axial relationship. On the the southeast it related to the approach road past the Hospital and Police Station. On the northwest side it related to the central courtyard of the Thlabane Shopping complex - with its central circular landscape feature.
Internally the southeast end of the Hall had a limited stage area. A heavy steel portal frame was expressed within the hall space. The internal wall finish had a matching face brick finish to the external walls – but with two separate horizontal bands of a lighter coloured brick to presumably reduce the vertical scale.
No ceiling was provided in the hall - the silver foil of the underside of the roof insulation was just expressed between the exposed purlins and presumably considered an acceptable finish. Industrial scale light fittings were suspended from the steel portal frame structure. A large diameter painted galvanised sheet metal duct was suspended a short distance below the underside of the ridge of the portal frame to provide mechanical ventilation to the hall space. High level clear storey windows on both sides of the hall provided limited natural light into the space. The floor of the hall was finished with a bland vinyl sheeting.
The Town Hall building has been vacant for approximately three years. Up until this time the building had provided a home and performance venue for the Mmabana Cultural Group. The Hall has also been used by the local community for funerals and weddings, and as a meeting place by political parties as part of their electioneering activities.
(Submitted by William MARTINSON)
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