Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University School of Architecture


The School of Architecture in Port Elizabeth is unique in South Africa in that it is the only School that contains two Departments within which reside programmes in Architecture, Architectural Technology and Interior Design. This has come about because of the merger of the former University of Port Elizabeth with its Department of Architecture, with the former Port Elizabeth Technicon with its Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design. The merger took place in 2005. The formal School of Architecture was established in 2007 with Professor G McLACHLAN as the first Director.

The Department of Architecture offers the following degrees: Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Master of Architecture (Professional), Master of Architecture (Research) and Doctor of Architecture. The Department of Architecture first opened its doors in 1970 in Annerly House just off Bird Street in Central, Port Elizabeth under the headship of Professor J P SNYMAN. It was the first architecture programme in South Africa to offer a two degree structure. The first degree was then known as the Bachelor of Building Arts which was followed by the Bachelor of Architecture. In 1971 Professor C T WELCH joined the staff followed by Mr F GEORGE, Mr P VOGEL, Mr I STEENKAMP, Mr N MARITZ. In 1972 Professor SNYMAN, who had become involved in a campaign to forestall the construction of a freeway on the Garden Route, suddenly resigned, leaving at the end of the year. In 1973 Professor D KESTING took over and headed the Department for 4 years. He was replaced by Professor P LE ROUX who left in 1979. Professor C T WELCH took over for 1980, but resigned and left for the chair of Town Planning at Stellenbosch in 1980. Mr N MARITZ was appointed Acting Head for 1981. In 1982 Professor J D THERON took over as Head and with this appointment a long period of stability and growth was ushered in. Professor J D THERON retired at the end of 2001. Mr S LEAR was appointed Acting Head and was joined by Mr J RUSHMERE as Design Co-ordinator. In 2004 Professor G McLACHLAN was appointed Head leading into the merger. In 2007 Professor G McLACHLAN was appointed Director of the School and Mr S LEAR resumed duties as Head of Department. The Architecture programme continues to produce graduates who are highly skilled and competitive and to focus increasingly on the context within South Africa and on issues of sustainability.

The Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design offers the National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology qualifications in its respective programmes as well as Master of Technology (Research) in these fields. This Department started life in the mid 1970’s as a programme in draughtsmanship within the building disciplines in the then College for Advanced Technical Education. The programme was originally lead by Mr B WHYBROW. In the early 1980’s Mr C VOSLOO was appointed as programme leader. The programme eventually growing in the 1990’s into a separate Department under Mr VOSLOO’s Headship. Mr VOSLOO was joined by Mr J PANSEGROUW and others as the Department grew. Mr VOSLOO, who was promoted to Professor in 2003, resigned in 2007 and Mr PANSEGROUW headed the Department for a year being replaced as Head by Ms N DARKE in 2008. The Interior Design programme was started in the mid 1990’s by Ms L SMIT who was joined later by Ms A GROBLER who was Programme Leader. In 2008 Ms GROBLER resigned and Ms W ESTERHUYSEN replaced her as Interior Design Programme Leader.

[McLACHLAN, G. November 2010]

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