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Funda Community College
Soweto, Gauteng

Joseph Michael Francis (Jo) NOERO: Architect
1995SAIA Award of Merit


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26°15'24.57" S 27°56'05.72" E


The centre has its origins in the riots pupil riots of 1976, and this, the College, the most recent in the series of facilities provided to provide education and training facilities for adults through open access and flexible entry and exit.

The project responds to the aesthetic of the original centre designed by Leon van Schaik, although unfortunately ignoring the precedent indented facebrick plinth, a device which would have emphasised the form and independence of the rotunda. Attention to finer detailing, such as drips on soffits, would have enhanced the finesse of the project.

Yet after decades of affluence and abundance we have a re-emergence of an architecture which returns to the aesthetics of necessity in which elements of metaphorical expression and practical craft fuse into each other: utility and beauty again unite.

A dialogue between the archetypal and the particular. The Euclidean geometries articulated together with the place making instincts of the savannah offering a privilege experience. Contrasting to its surrounds, where houses dot the plain in grid pattern offering no sanctuary or spatial hierarchy. Here we found multiple thresholds, centered places which face inwards and refer to themselves, intensifying its identity. Planted trees, framed views and pathways lead to their destination by a series of twists and turns creating a context and excluding the horror of the plains.

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.

Writings about this entry

Muwanga, Christina. 1998. South Africa : a guide to recent architecture. London : Köln: Ellipsis : Könemann. pg 226-227