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Voortrekkers' Gedenksaal - Memorial Hall
Pretoria, Gauteng

George Esselmont Gordon LEITH: Architect

Date:c1930
Type:Hall
Status:Demolished
Street:Visagie St

Cumming George 1933

THE "GEDENKSAAL" at Pretoria, recently designed by Mr. Gordon LEITH, F.R.I.B.A., is in all respects an unconventional concept, executed in a scholarly manner to meet the exigencies of a long narrow site and with a view to expressing the fortitude and simplicity of those whom it was designed to commemorate.

The central entrance doors give access to a wide corridor connecting with an Hypaethral courtyard round which are grouped the lavatories and cloakrooms for Synod members. The walls of the court contain a painted frieze, suggesting the Great Trek. At the far end of this court a broad flight of steps leads down to a spacious coffee room, two lesser flights, flanking it, leading up to the ante-room of the Synod Hall which is panelled and fitted with independent desks and seats for members. Behind the hall a public gallery, capable of seating 250 visitors, is carried over the ante-room, and in this way does not protrude into the hall.

The latter is lit principally by clerestory windows, the hall being cruciform in shape, having a recessed platform for speakers. Behind this two committee rooms are provided together with cloak rooms, etc.

(UWA: V6), erf 697

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.


Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 69-70
Fisher, Roger C The Third Vernacular: Pretoria Regionalism — Aspects of an Emergence: in Fisher, RC, Le Roux, SW and Maré, E (Eds). 1998. Architecture of the Transvaal: pp 146 ill 6.19; 6.20