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Laboratory Complex at Sasol Midlands
Sasolburg, Free State


Client:Sasol Chemical Industries
2008SAIA Award of Merit

Award of Merit Citation

This apparently simple laboratory building in the industrial desert of Sasol Midlands in Sasolburg derives its form and constructional syntax from the need for a blast-proof facility with high degree of mechanical services and laboratory equipment. Externally located columns act as buttresses, and exposed stand-up beams and the roof slab become the devices of a brutalist aesthetic. The utter simplicity and directness of this project reminds that buildings can be as efficient and economical as a bicycle and a humble project a masterly design. Despite its severe constraints and omissions to the original brief the merit of this project is has a sense of completeness.

Writings about this entry

Raman, Pattabi G and Olivier, Jako. 2009. Architecture of the third landscape : Award-winning buildings of the Free State. Bloemfontein: Exposure. pg 128-137
South African Institute of Architects. 2008. Awards : South African Institute of Architects. Awards for Excellence, Awards of Merit, Regional Awards for Architecture 2005/2006 2007/2008. Cape Town: Picasso for SAIA. pg 38-39