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Municipal Offices, known as the 'Tin Temple'
Johannesburg, Gauteng

Allen WILSON: Architect

Date:1903
Type:Municipal Offices
Status:Demolished
Street:Plein Sq

After the disruptions of the Anglo-Boer War the municipality discovered its lease was soon to expire and the cost of renewal considered prohibitive. The Johannesburg Council's Town Engineer's Department hastily erected a collection of hutments comprising makeshift corrugated iron on timber framing building in the style of early Johannesburg 'shanty-town' architecture, erected as a contemporary expedient to house the Municipal Offices on Plein Square (Shorten 1970:237). It was later used for Technical School and University purposes, accommodating the early Wits School of Architecture and remained a make-shift educational building until 1925, with the affectionate moniker 'Tin Temple'.

Prof PEARSE reminisces that 'rain often spoilt one's drawings, the windows rattled and dust covered everything' (Herbert 1975:9). With the building of the new Central Block on the University of the Witwatersrand Main Campus, completed in 1925, the School moved to these new premises and the building became defunct and was demolished after 30 years of service.

(SAB Mar 1938: 99)

These notes were last edited on 2021 09 22

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

Herbert, Gilbert. 1975. Martienssen & the international style: The modern movement in South African architecture. Cape Town - Rotterdam: AA Balkema. pg 5, 9, 29
Shorten, John R; Johannesburg City Council. 1970. The Johannesburg saga. Johannesburg: John R Shorten. pg 237