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HAWKE, William

Born: 1872 01 21
Died: 1938 01 04


Year registered: 1927

ARIBA (1895); FRIBA (1906); CPIA (1927); ISAA (1927).

A principal in the Cape Town firm of HAWKE & McKINLAY from about 1905 until his death, Hawke was born of English parents in Grenoble, France and educated in England. In 1888 at the age of sixteen he was articled to WS Dobell in Exeter, Devon where he remained for four years gaining experience of a general country practice. In 1892 he received an Honours Diploma and won a Bronze Medal for Building Construction from the Science and Art Department, South Kensington. He remained for a few months in Dobell's office as an Improver on completion of his articles before travelling abroad for a short time. On his return in 1893 he entered the office of Mr Caroe for a period before entering the office of GOLDIE, CHILD & GOLDIE, studying further at the Royal Academy Schools and sitting the RIBA examination in 1894. In 1895 he moved to the office of Aston Webb and Ingress Bell where he was associated with 'Mr North ... in winning the competition for the Rugby Municipal Buildings' (FRIBA nom papers 1906). Here he also prepared drawings for the competition for the University of the Cape of Good Hope and designed three private (and so far unidentified) houses in Norbury, London and was engaged with restoration work at Kennerleigh Church, Devon. At the time he was living at Woodbury Cottage, Thornton Heath, Surrey (in which village both W BEVAN and P EAGLE resided in 1902.) According to Wendland (DSAB III:380), Hawke worked in the Admiralty Office of Works in London and while there reputedly assisted with the design the Simon's Town sanatorium (now the Naval Signal School) in 1903.

Capable and thorough, Hawke had a remarkable flair for producing prize-winning designs, no doubt ably assisted by his partner WN McKINLAY, whom he had met while in Webb's office (cf HAWKE & McKINLAY). Here they collaborated on competition work, a way architects were able to set up independent practice, and won first premium for the Cape of Good Hope University buildings in 1905. They left for the Cape the same year, entering into what was to be a thirty year partnership in Cape Town. Latterly Hawke was elected President-in-Chief of the Institute of South African Architects (1930-1931) and President of the Cape Provincial Institute of Architects (1934). He died at his home Hawkridge, Lovers' Walk, Kenilworth in Cape Town.

There is also a listing of this practitioner on the Dictionary of Scottish Architects.

(AB&E Feb 1921:4, 5 port; AB&E Feb 1938:20 obit; Afr Archt Mar 1912:193; ARIBA nom papers (1895); DSAB III:380-1; FRIBA nom papers (1906) 1055; Langham-Carter; Master Supreme Court (CT) 57728; RIBA Jnl 25 Apr 1938:623 obit; SAAR Jan 1938:571 obit; SAMBF Jnl May 1905:44)

Publ: The Cape Provincial Inst annual report,1930, SAAR Mar 1931; Assessor's report, Colonial Mutual Bldg, Durban competition, SAAR Jun 1931:47-50

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.

Books citing HAWKE

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880-1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp

HSRC. 1977. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume III. Pretoria: Tafelberg for The Human Sciences Research Council. pp 380-381

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 167

Walker, Michael. 2010. A Statement In Stone. Cape Town: Privately published by Michael Walker. pp 68-69