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University of Pretoria, Aula and Rautenbach Hall
Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng

Karl J (Karel) JOOSTE: Design Architect

Style:Little Brazil


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25°43'13.22" S 28°13'43.92" E

Designed by Karel Jooste, under the auspices of the architectural firm Philip Nel, this magnificent concrete structure is an important cultural venue on the campus and also served the city of Pretoria until the State Theatre was completed in the early 1980s. In designing the building, Jooste was ingenious in his use of concrete: stairs cut free from supporting floors, a free-form cut-out concrete screen and waved ceilings. The effect of suspending the building’s bulk over the Rautenbach Hall is even more pronounced because of large sliding glass doors on the western and eastern walls. The building was completed in 1958 and opened by Governor General E. G. Jansen. The facilities were inaugurated with a concert by Mimi Coertse, followed by a two-month gala programme of drama, symphony music, art exhibitions, ballet and choral singing. An agreement was recently signed to house the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa in the Aula. In 2004 a pipe organ, originally from the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Grootkerk [Bosman Street Church], was installed in the Aula. The auditorium accommodates 1 071 patrons.

Writings about this entry

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 203