Pretoria has many excellent examples of architecture. Below are three of my favourite buildings, and the reasons why I like each of these.
Centenary Building (2008)
The building was appropriately named Centenary Building for commemorating a hundred years of architecture on the University of Pretoria campus. The end result is an eclectic array of architectural styles in one precinct. The building engages with its neighbouring buildings by consciously responding to their diversity in scale, finishes and proportion.
Furthermore it gives equal prominence to internal and external space, with a lot of the circulation occurring on the exterior. Ultimately the Centenary Building’s main merit lies in the creation of a micro-regionalism through the perceptive distillation of a design idiom – specific to the University of Pretoria.
Monaghan Prototype House (2006)
This building really excites me as an architect. The Monaghan Farm sets a fine example for residential developments in a cosmic landscape. This home has a minimalist architectural approach, as well as the absence of clearly defined distinction between inside and out.
Continuity with the outside is reinforced by glass walls that can be stacked aside or contrasted with enclosures that are never really closed off. Reliance on the sun and rain is explored to the full in the form of photovoltaic cells, harvested tap and garden water and solar heating for the floors, bath and swimming pool.
High Performance Sport Centre (2002)
The High Performance Sport Centre was commissioned as a joint venture between the University of Pretoria and private practice. It serves as a world-class training academy on the university campus, with aligned amenities and in-house accommodation.
Although this is a relatively small building, it has grand objectives and considerable architectural merit. The building extends over four levels and includes retail, dining, medical facilities, an auditorium and gymnasium (see their Facebook page for more information).
The administrative part of the building is separate from the main building but linked by a suspended walkway. This sport centre is not only an asset to the University of Pretoria but also serves as precedent for similar facilities across the world.