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List of Projects


Born: 1938 11 07


Reg No: 2245
Year registered: 1963

1938 Born of 1820 Settler and Swiss German stock.

1938 to 1962 Brought up in Architectural Environment where Modern Movement of 1930s, New Eclecticism 1950s, Gardens of Italy and Spain, Architecture of the Ndebele and Dutch at Cape, constituted early influences.

1961 Obtained Degree of Bachelor of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand.

1961 Married Geologist – Michael Kamstra – and traversed Southern Africa extensively. Great Zimbabwe, German Missions (Mariannhill), Small Karoo, Victorian Verandahed Farm Houses, Sotho Settlements, extended awareness of our rich heritage.

Worked for Leading Architects:
1961 to 1962
1962 to 1963
1964 to 1966
1966 to 1966
1966 to 1970
1961 to 1971

Willie MEYER
Self (in small, part-time practice)

1963 to 1971 Bore Three Children:

1961 to 1971 Developed Design and Practice Skills on the one hand – learnt about small children on the other.

In 1969 recorded in married name of KAMSTRA as member of the TPIA of Address 27 Gambia Road, Emmerentia, Johannesburg, Transvaal.

1969 to 1972
In Association with John FASSLER
Central Campus Master Plan at the University of the Witwatersrand

1971 Inherited John FASSLER's practice

1971 to 1977 Practised in various Partnerships and Associations:

1975 Divorced Michael Kamstra

1977 to 1978 Lectureship at University of Witwatersrand
Honed Photographic, Lecturing, and Sketching skills.
Refreshed knowledge of Architectural Theory, History and Contemporary Movements

1978 to 1997 In Partnership with Marcus HOLMES (cf FASSLER KAMSTRA & HOLMES ARCHITECTS).

1978 to 2011 Continued University Involvement as:
External Examiner to Universities of Witwatersrand, Pretoria, Free State, Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Guest Lecturer at University of the Witwatersrand, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Johannesburg, Pretoria University

1978 to 1999 Professional Involvements in Institute Affairs

Member of the Environmental Watch Committee of the Transvaal Institute of Architects
Member of the Accommodation Committee of the Transvaal Institute of Architects
Member of the Education Action /committee of the Transvaal Institute of Architects
Member of the Housing and Urbanisation Committee of the Transvaal Institute of Architects
Member of the National Board of the Transvaal Institute of Architects
Assessor for ISAA Awards of Merit Programme 1993
President of the Transvaal Institute of Architects 1993 – 1996

1997 Resigned as Partner of FASSLER KAMSTRA & HOLMES

1997 to 1999 Small Practice in Cape Town

2000 to 2001 In Association with GAPP ARCHITECTS AND URBAN DESIGNERS

2001 to 2011 In Small Practice on Own

South African Institute of Architects' Award of Merit:
SAHETI Nursery School - 1977
SAHETI Primary School - 1977
House de la Harpe - 1981
Alterations and additions to three Houses in Orange Grove, Johannesburg - 1987
Farmhouse Berglust in Ellisras District, Waterberg - 2006
Limpopo Institute of Architects Regional Award of Commendation
Training Centre at Jane Furse, Limpopo – 2003
Farmhouse Berglust in Ellisras District - 2005
Sandton Civic Award:
House Bell - 1978
Architecture SA Project
SAHETI High School - 1980
DULUX Colour Award:
Johannesburg City Hall – 1996
SALI Gold Medal for Specialised Landscape Construction:
Design for landscape constructed by Alan Ralph of Art Landscapes
House LP Collet, Inanda - 2007

Inaugural Sophia Gray lecture at University of OFS - 1989
International Union of Female Architects & Planners Congress on Housing in Washington, DC - 1989
Congress of South African Architects, Cape Town -1983
Congress of South African Architects, Johannesburg - 1985
Congress of South African Architects, Bloemfontein - 1991
Sundry Public Lectures on Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Die Ou Presidensie, Bloemfontein - 1988
South African National Gallery, Cape Town - 1993
Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg - 1995
Attic Gallery, Windhoek - 1996

Mpumalanga Legislature – 1997
Freedom Square, Kliptown – 2002
Reinvention – A Competition for the modernization of Anglo American’s Johannesburg Campus – 2011

In 1991 Mira wrote a tribute to Barrie BIERMANN.

Mira was awarded the SAIA Gold Medal for Architecture in 2017:


Mira Fassler Kamstra graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1961. After starting as one of five women in first year, Mira was one of three to graduate. She grew up in an environment permeated with design and architecture. Her father, John Fassler was a professor and later Head of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand and an associate of Bernard Cooke and Rex Martienssen.
In her early years of practice from 1962 - 1970, Mira worked for a series of leading architects, Andre Hoffe, Hans Hallen, Willie Meyer and John Fassler. She also married and had three children during this period, combining the rigours of practice with the challenges of bringing up small children.
In 1969, Mira worked with John Fassler on the Central Campus Master Plan at the University of the Witwatersrand, and on the death of her father, inherited his practice and was forced to step up to the challenge of completing Senate House at the University.
In the 1970’s Mira practiced independently and in association with other architects, before going into partnership with Marcus Holmes as Fassler Kamstra + Holmes in 1978.
Some of Mira’s best-known works date from this period, most notably her work at Saheti - the Primary and Nursery Schools and House de la Harpe - for which she received Awards of Merit, respectively in 1977, 1978 and 1981. Over her career she has received a total of six SAIA Awards of Merit as well as three Regional Awards.
Her body of work is extensive and wide ranging, from individual works, adaptive re-use to large scale civic proposals. Every project is approached with a high level of attention to detail and design, and she has developed a deep knowledge of architectural conservation and landscape design. Her work in this regard was recognised in 2007 when she was awarded a Gold Medal for House LP Collet in Inanda by the SA Landscapers Institute.
Mira has also served the profession during her career in a variety of roles, from membership of various committees of the former Transvaal Institute of Architects to membership of SACAP Validation Panels and external examiner at several schools of Architecture. She was elected President of the Transvaal Institute of Architects, serving in that capacity from 1993-1996 when the Institute was reconstituted.
Mira’s work has been published and exhibited extensively and she has been a sought-after speaker. So, it was no accident that she was the first presenter of the Sophia Gray Memorial lecture and exhibition in 1989. She has generously contributed to the profession by ensuring that the architectural heritage and institutional memory of the profession are sustained, not only by mentoring young professionals, but by archiving her and her father’s drawing and book collections.
It is for this enduring legacy - her contribution to the discourse of architecture in South Africa and an oeuvre of architectural work of sustained excellence spanning over fifty years – that the Gold Medal for Architecture is awarded by the Board to Mira Fassler Kamstra, SAIA’s own grande dame of architecture.

The stained glass artist Stephanie FASSLER is the sister of Mira.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Farmhouse at Berglust: 2005. Lephalale (Ellisras), Limpopo - Architect
House de la Harpe: 1975 : 1979. Morningside, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
House Kelly: 2005. Kyalami, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
House Madlener - Najmeh: 2013. Mountain View, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
House Protti: 1965. Germiston, Gauteng - Architect
ISCOR Children's Centre: 1975. Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng - Design Architect
ISCOR Flats - Limpopo: 1976. Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng - Design Architect
Lonehill Showhouse: 1982. Lonehill, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
Ravenscraig: c1903 : 2007-2010. Parktown Ridge, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
SAHETI High School: n.d.. Senderwood, Johannesburg, Gauteng - Design Architect
SAHETI Nursery School: 1975. Johannesburg, Gauteng - Design Architect
SAHETI Primary School: 1975. Johannesburg, Gauteng - Design Architect
Studio Di van der Merwe: 2010. Johannesburg, Gauteng - Architect
Training Centre: 2003?. Jane Furse, Limpopo - Architect


Beck, Haig (Editor). 1985. UIA International Architect : Southern Africa (Issue 8). London: International Architect. pp Inner back cover, 26-27

ISAA. 1969. The Yearbook of the Institute of South African Architects and Chapter of SA Quantity Surveyors 1968-1969 : Die Jaarboek van die Instituut van Suid-Afrikaanse Argitekte en Tak van Suid-Afrikaanse Bourekenaars 1968-1969. Johannesburg: ISAA. pp 95, 121

Muwanga, Christina. 1998. South Africa : a guide to recent architecture. London : Köln: Ellipsis : Könemann. pp 190-191

Pretorius, Henry, Verster, Wanda. 2014. 25 Sophia Gray : Memorial Lectures and Exhibitions : 1989 - 2013. Bloemfontein: Department of Architecture, University of the Free State. pp 8-11


Fassler-Kamstra, Mira. 1990. Mimicry and camouflage. Architecture SA. Jul/Aug 36-40

Articles citing FASSLER KAMSTRA

Fassler-Kamstra, Mira. 1990. Mimicry and camouflage. Architecture SA. Jul/Aug 36-40