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List of Projects

BURGER, Alewyn Petrus

Born: 1933 10 30
Died: 2021 12 23


Reg No: 2118
Year registered: 1961

BArch 1956 (Pretoria)

Born in Paulpietersburg, Natal. Son of a well-known dominee [NG Church reverend] AJV Burger. In 1950 Burger matriculated from the Hoërskool Helpmekaar, Johannesburg.
In 1951 he enrolled for studies in architecture, University of Pretoria, graduating in 1956 with a BArch degree.
He married Ina Huggett in 1957.
From the years 1957 up to 1961 he was a full-time lecturer in the then Department of Architecture and Quantity Surveying UP (Burger CV 1983; Spies and Heydenrych 1987:67). During this time he did post-graduate studies on the design, acoustics and colour of Dutch Reformed churches. For this he went on various study tours, mainly to Italy, where he undertook research on the influence that monastic orders had on Romanesque architecture of the C11 and C12 centuries in Italy (Spies & Heydenrych 1987:69).
During 1959 – 1961 he served as a part-time lecturer at the Department of Architecture, UP,
In the years 1962 until 1967 he joined the firm of BRIAN SANDROCK ARCHITECTS. Burger was the project architect in charge of the student residences Huis Boekenhout and Huis Olienhout, University of Pretoria; the Accelerator Building, Pelindaba; the University of Pretoria, Administration Building; the initial design for the UNISA complex and its University Centre (Burger CV 1983; Spies and Heydenrych 1987:69).
In 1965 he was engaged in developing the long-term site development plan for the University of Pretoria with SANDROCK, who had been appointed by the Council of UP as 'terrein argitek' (site layout architect) (Spies and Heydenrych 1987:220).
In 1967 Burger was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture and Quantity Surveying on 1 June, following his predecessor Prof AL MEIRING's retirement in 1966 (Burger CV 1983; Spies and Heydenrych 1987:69).
During 1967 to 1984 he undertook many world tours with his wife to study a variety of topics, sometimes with students. He provided more than 25 000 slides contributing to the Departmental Collection for which he had devised a unique colour-coded indexing system.
He was inter alia a member of the SABS Metrication Committee, the Building Advisory Committee at the CSIR, a founder member of the Council for SA Architects, a founder member of the SA Acoustics Institute, and a selector of building terminology at the WAT (Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal).
In 1969 he is recorded as a salaried member of the TPIA where he was Head to the Department of Architecture and Quantity Surveying, University of Pretoria.
In the late 1960s he served on the adjudication panel with Prof C Strauss BRINK and architect Mira FASSLER KAMSTRA for an architectural housing design competition run by the newspaper Dagbreek in the late 1960s. 'Dagbreek Bied Behuisinggids Aan Ná Argitekwedstryd-sukses' (Dagbreek offers housing guide following success of [its] architectural competition). Dagbreek late 1960s.
In 1971 the Department of Architecture and Quantity Surveying was renamed Department of Architecture, with Burger still as Head (Spies and Heydenrych 1987:69).
In 1984 Burger resigned as Head of Department of Architecture, effective 30 June 1984 (Burger letter of resignation to Dean. 26 March 1984). He thereafter joined the architectural firm STEYN and VILJOEN until his retirement [year 1994].
Burger was a keen and prodigious woodworker which occupied him in his retirement as well as writing articles on matters of interest to himself for himself and close friends.

[From the research submitted by Dr Basil BRINK, October 2011 from sources cited below – certain speculative details omitted until verified; expanded by Prof Hans WEGELIN from the privately circulated autobiography of AP Burger (2021).]


Burger A.P. Curriculum Vitae. University of Pretoria Archives. February 1983.
Burger A.P. Letter of resignation to Dean, Prof Zietsman. University of Pretoria Archives. 26 March 1984.
Burger, A.P. Autobiografie. 2021 (unpublished).
Spies F.J. du T. & Heydenrych D.H. Ad Destinatum II 1960-1982. ‘n Geskiedenis van die Universiteit van Pretoria. (A history of the University of Pretoria). Pretoria: University of Pretoria. 1987.
Wilkins I. & Strydom H. The Super Afrikaners. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers. 1978.

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In Memoriam

Alewyn Petrus Burger Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria 1967-1985.

The death of Alewyn yesterday morning, after a short illness, brings to the close a life lived both privately and without wish for fanfare. It would, however, be remiss to forget, although he being absent from academia for some thirty-five years, the profound contributions he made both to the profession of Architecture and its teaching in South Africa. He never sought the limelight and eschewed the glare of publicity, but in the Boukunde Building his ghost lingers, both as a rigorous implementer of standards for the curriculum and the physical manifestation of the building itself. The stature that the body of Architecture enjoys today as the vanguard of the profession is in no small part a tribute to his legacy. We remember him with pride, and regret the loss. We extend condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and past students. (Roger Fisher)

Die dood van Alewyn gisteroggend na 'n kort siekte bring 'n einde aan 'n lewe wat privaat en sonder fanfare geleef is. Dit sou egter nalatig wees om te vergeet dat, hoewel hy vir ongeveer vyf-en-dertig jaar afwesig was van akademia, hy 'n diepgaande bydrae tot die argitektuurprofessie en die onderrig daarvan gemaak het. Hy het nooit die kalklig opgesoek nie, en het die glans van bekendheid vermy, maar in die Boukundegebou draai sy spook, beide as streng toepasser van standaarde vir die kurrikulum, as die fisiese manifestasie van die gebou self. Die statuur wat die Argitektuurgemeenskap vandag geniet is in geen geringe mate 'n huldeblyk van sy nalatenskap nie. Ons onthou hom met trots, en met spyt oor die verlies. Ons betuig ons meegevoel aan sy familie, vriende, kollegas en voormalige studente.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

University of Pretoria, Administration Building: 1968. Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Project Architect
University of Pretoria, Theo van Wyk Building: 1972. Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Project Architect

Books citing BURGER

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 90, 138

Books by BURGER

Konya, Alan & Burger, Alewyn. 1973. The International Handbook of Finnish Sauna. London: The Architectural Press