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List of Projects

CONNELL, Paul Harold

Born: 1915
Died: 1997


Reg No: 836
Year registered: 1943

BArch 1938 (Witwatersrand)


Paul Connell 1915-1997

Paul CONNELL was appointed the first Professor of Architecture at the University of Natal in Durban in 1949, one of the youngest professors ever to be appointed to the University, aged only 34.

CONNELL was born in York, England. He studied architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand, was a student member of MARTIENSSEN's Transvaal Group and served as its secretary at the time of inviting LE CORBUSIER to the Town Planning Congress of 1938, the year CONNELL graduated (Herbert, G Martienssen and the International Style in SA).

After joining the staff at UCT, he was appointed a founder member and first Head of the Architectural Division of the National Building Research Institute of the CSIR in Pretoria.

Under his tenure the Natal School of Architecture established the degree course in Architecture which then became recognised by ISAA, RIBA and ARCUK. Subsequent to a Carnegie sponsored tour to USA, CONNELL invited to Natal, Buckminster FULLER, who in 1958 together with students, carried out a geodesic research project inspired by the indigenous Zulu indlu or beehive hut.

CONNELL relinquished the Chair of Architecture in 1964 to take up the post of Planning and Development Officer to the University of Natal, and subsequently at Technikon Natal (Durban University of Technology).

Paul CONNELL was a gentleman, highly intelligent yet self effacing. Because of his religious convictions, his latter years were extremely private. He died in March 1997 and is survived by his wife Aileen and 2 married daughters.

(Leslie CROFT. KZ-NIA Journal, Issue 3/1997, Vol 22)

Submitted by Arthur BARKER

He was identified by Rex MARTIENSSEN as one of the founding members of what was to be a South African branch of CIAM, an eventuality never realised. He was the first to use positive slide projection in place of an epidiascope at the South African Town Planning Congress arranged by the Wits Architectural Students Association in 1936.

When he became Head of Natal he had Barrie BIERMANN, who had been a young researcher under him at the Building Research Institute, CSIR join the lecturing staff there.

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

University of Natal, The University Union Building: 1962. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect

Books by CONNELL

Connell, PH; Irvine-Smith, C; Jonas, K; Kantorowich, R & Wepener, FJ . 1939. Native housing. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand, unpublished collective BArch thesis

Books citing CONNELL

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 110

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 89, 220