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Roedean School - Sanatorium
Johannesburg, Gauteng

FLEMING and PARTNERS: Architect

Date:1938
Type:School
Status:Extant

(SAB Sep 1938:62)

Additions to the original school built in 1904.

ARCHITECTURAL REPORT

Definition

Essentially British in its use, a sanatorium may be defined as a room or facility in a boarding school where sick pupils may be treated. The name is derived from the Latin sanare - to heal.

Architect

The original Council Submission drawings have not been located in the Municipal Plans archive. However, the original Submission Form does survive and this confirms that the architects for the building were FLEMING and PARTNERS.

Siting

The Sanatorium is situated in close proximity to the main vehicular entrance into Roedean School (off Princess of Wales Terrace) in the southeast corner of the property.

Planning

The basic layout of the Sanatorium comprises two linear wings set at right angles forming an L-shaped plan. The building so formed was largely symmetrical about the diagonal axis and was placed on the site with one wing aligned in a northerly direction; the other wing in an easterly direction.

The main entrance into the Sanatorium Building was from the southwest external corner of the L-shaped plan, accessed through a small inset porch, the opening through the external wall framed either side by a broad brickwork nib. The double inward opening glazed timber doors gave access into a small triangular entrance hall.

Each of the linear wings was arranged around an offset central corridor originating from the common entrance hall.

The inner junction between the two wings – at the re-entrant corner – was resolved with a door placed within a splayed wall, which gave access into an economically planned Matron’s Flat. The outer junction between the two wings – on the southwest corner – was formed with the kitchen, the required floor area of which could not be accommodated within the envelope of the L-shaped plan. The additional area was provided with the use of a minor projecting wing to the south (the same width as the north wing). A subsidiary small-scale barrel vaulted structure, accommodating the staff quarters, formed an additional linear projection onto the south façade of the kitchen.

The detail planning of the two linear wings was identical with a large four-bed ward across the full width of the wing at the end of the end of the access passage. A two-bed ward and a one-bed ward flanked one side of each access passage; the opposite narrow side of the wing accommodated the common toilet and ablution facilities. Various minor service spaces including a store and a clinic formed the balance of the accommodation.

Construction

The Sanatorium was constructed with painted hard burnt stock brick cavity walls on a brown face brick plinth, the latter finely laid in English bond brickwork.

A simple hipped corrugated iron roof with deeply projecting boarded eaves and a relatively low pitch was provided in sympathy to the original Baker designed school buildings to the north. The fenestration was, however, clearly influenced by Modernist principles as the panes were all horizontally proportioned in the manner popular at the time.

Internal finishes were robustly detailed and included flush panelled doors with observation panels, quarry tile internal cills, red granolithic bathroom floors, hardwood vanity tops to bathrooms, simple inverted conical glass light shades, and painted soft board ceilings with rectangular cover strips and simple champhered timber cornices.

Modifications over time

The Building has generally served its purpose well and has only been minimally modified over time. Changes include the replacement of some of the external doors, the adaptive re-use of the kitchen as a school laundry, the adaptive re-use of the north wing as the Matron’s Flat, and the use of the four-bed ward in the east wing as a classroom.

The insensitively placed Headmistress’ House to the west of the Sanatorium has changed the original context of the Sanatorium, as has the construction of a large block to accommodate a standby generator on the south side.

A detailed measured drawing was prepared of the Building in 1988 by Portal Partnership, which serves as an accurate record of the Building’s current status.

Extracted from:

[HERITAGE ASSESSMENT IN SUPPORT OF A PERMIT APPLICATION TO THE PROVINCIAL HERITAGE RESOURCES AUTHORITY GAUTENG PROPOSED DEMOLITION OF THE SANATORIUM BUILDING AT ROEDEAN SCHOOL (SA) SITUATED ON PORTION 1 OF STAND 26, PARKTOWN JOHANNESBURG. Compiled by: Dr Johann J. Bruwer; June 2009] sent to us by William MARTINSON

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