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NUNN, Aubrey Victor

Born: 1905 05 13
Died: ?


Reg No: 325
Year registered: 1927

TPIA (1927); ISAA (1927); ARIBA (1931).

Was born in Pretoria where he was articled to COWIN, POWERS & ELLIS from 1922 to 1928. According to his Associate RIBA nomination papers (1931), he was born in 1911, but 1905, the other date given (ISAA membership list) is more likely as otherwise he would have been about twelve years old when he commenced extra-mural classes at Pretoria University College where he studied from 1923 to 1928. In October 1928 he entered the architectural course at the University of the Witwatersrand and was exempted intermediate examinations. He attended the Architectural Association, London, from 1929 to 1931, accepted into the fourth and fifth year classes. He was employed by the Great Western Railway Architectural Department in London from July to September 1930. On winning the Henry Jarvis Scholarship in September 1930, he visited Germany. He also visited Holland, Italy and the South of France.

From February 1931 he worked for six months in Herbert BAKER's office in London before taking the RIBA professional practice examination in 1931. Baker noted that 'he is a very efficient draughtsman and a good designer with a sound practical knowledge' (ARIBA nom papers). Nunn returned to South Africa in 1931, settling in Pretoria where he opened practice. According to Nation (Lantern Feb 1989:29), Nunn offered HWE STAUCH, newly arrived in Cape Town from Germany, employment which Stauch took up in March 1935. Nunn himself appears to have been impressed by modern German architecture (he wrote an article on the Stuttgart Stadium for the South African Architectural Record (Oct 1932:260-2) although at the time Nunn met Stauch he was producing 'rather charming architecture of a romantic sort, such as the Botha residence, a Spanish style house ...(but) was anxious to produce modern work, and suggested to Stauch that they enter into an association to do so' (Herbert 1975:151). Stauch's lightweight formal qualifications in architecture were, however, not recognised by the Institute of South African Architects and Nunn was not able to admit Stauch to 'full' partnership and they 'took the unprecedented step of publishing several projects under the authorship of 'Aubrey Nunn with Hellmut Stauch' (Lantern Feb 1989:32). The association was successful and was among the vanguard offices in Pretoria (cf NUNN, AV, with HWE STAUCH). The association ended only in 1943 when Stauch set up independent practice. Nunn was an exceptional sportsman, particularly in swimming where he held several records; he played water-polo and hockey for the Transvaal and for the Northern Transvaal, and was considered an expert on the construction of swimming pools. It is however as the partner of Stauch that Nunn is principally remembered today. In 1959 his address was 4th Floor, Hochstetter House, Andries Street, Pretoria.

(ARIBA nom papers (1931) 4784; AB&E Dec 1933:37, 38; ISAA mem list; Lantern Feb 1989; Nation 1985; WW in Pta 1952)

Publ: The stadium at Frankfurt, SAAR Oct 1932:260-2 ill

The following is an extract from pg 353 of: Kruger, Dr. D F (ed), Wie is Wie in Suid Afrika, Vitae Uitgewers, Johannesburg, 1960. Sent to us by William MARTINSON.

"NUNN, Aubrey V., ARIBA. Dip. A.A. London, M.I.A., Voorsitter van Pretoriase direksie van United Bouvereneging, geb. 13.05.1905.

Opleiding: Pretoria en Londen. Hy is aangestel as direkteur van die Pretoria-tak van die bouvereniging in 1936 en is in 1956 gekies as voorsitter. Hy het tussen 1924 en 1928 Transvaal in waterpolo verteenwoordig en Noord-Transvaal gedurende 1947 – 1949. Die verdienstelikheidswapen van die Suid-Afrikaanse amateur swembond is in 1950 aan hom toegeken. Gedurende die tydperk 1947 – 49 was hy voorsitter van die Pretoria Otters A. S. C. en in 1950 – 51 was hy president van die Noord-Transvaalse swemvereniging. Hy was Suid-Afrikaanse keurder vir deelnemers in die swemnommers op die Olimpiese Spele van 1948, 1952 en 1956 en die Statebondspele van 1950 en 1954. Hy is ook ondervoorsitter van die Suid-Afrikaanse swembond in 1958-59. Hy stel ook belang in hokkie en het Transvaal in 1928 verteenwoordig.

Klubs: Pretoria-klub, Pretoria Country Club, Johannesburgse Wanderersklub en Pretoria Otters A.S.C.

Liefhebberye: Gholf, rolbal end swem."

Translation of the above entry:

"NUNN, Aubrey V, ARIBA Dip AA London, MIA

Chairman of the Pretoria Directorate of the United Building Society.

Education: Pretoria and London. He was appointed to the Pretoria Directorate of the United Building Society in 1936 and in 1956 was elected as Chair. He represented Transvaal in water-polo during 1924 and 1928 and the Northern Transvaal during 1947-1949. In 1950 he was awarded the Service Medal of the South African Amateur Swimming Association. During 1947-49 he was chairman of the Pretoria Otters Amateur Swimming Club and in 1950-51 President of the Northern Transvaal Swimming Society. He was South African selector for participants in the swimming events of the Olympic Games of 1948, 1952 and 1956 and in the Commonwealth Games of 1950 and 1954. He was also Deputy Chairman of the South African Swimming Association in 1958-59. He also has an interest in hockey and represented Transvaal in 1928.

Club membership: Pretoria Club, Pretoria Country Club, Johannesburg Wanderers Club, and Pretoria Otters ASC.

Hobbies: Golf, bowls and swimming."

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

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Eaton Hall: 1939. Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Hillcrest Swimming Pool and facilities: 1940s. Hillcrest, Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
House J Pretorius Botha: 1933. Brooklyn, Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect
Public Baths: 1933. Benoni, Gauteng - Architect
United Building Society building, with BURG, LODGE & BURG: n.d.. Pretoria, Gauteng - Architect

Books citing NUNN

Cumming-George, L. 1934. Architecture in South Africa - Volume Two. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pp 63-64

Herbert, Gilbert. 1975. Martienssen & the international style: The modern movement in South African architecture. Cape Town - Rotterdam: AA Balkema. pp 143, 151, 152, 213, 214

ISAA. 1959. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1958-1959 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1958-1959. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 95, 189

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp N10b

Yorke, FRS & Gibberd, F. 1948. The modern flat. London: The Architectural Press. pp 154