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THE BRIEF

BY ED I TO R G RA HA M WO O D

ED'S NOTE This is the second year we’ve interviewed a selection of top women architects to mark Women’s Month. While we’re aware that singling out women might on some levels perpetuate inequalities, there is undeniably still value in celebrating the achievements of women in the profession, and openly discussing the challenges women architects face. At least, until there is complete equality. It’s interesting to note that the architects we spoke to this year concentrate on different issues from those we profiled last year. The gender pay gap was a crucial point of discussion last year, but this year most of the women we spoke to feel the issue has been rectified in the firms they work for. All note that, while the field of architecture itself is less and less overtly sexist, the built environment more generally remains tainted with chauvinism. This year, the harsh economic environment appears to be placing women at an unfair disadvantage, particularly working mothers, as it necessitates long working hours on short deadlines. While the industry has undoubtedly made significant strides, the anecdotal evidence suggests that the broader question of work-life balance remains an area in need of transformation.

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Graham

HIDDEN PRETORIA

H>IDDEN PR ETO

EDITOR’S

BOOK SHELF

HIDDEN

PRETORIA

I S B N 978-1-43 230-465

9

-2

JOHAN SWA RT ALAIN PROUST

Hidden Preto ria reveals the multiple ident present and ities that have setting it in a framework evolved withi Following on n the city, bring that looks firmly Hidden Cape ing its histor towards the Town and Hidde embody the cultu ical narrative future whilst n Johannesbu ral and socia into the acknowledging rg, the book l heritage of Preto illuminate build the legacy of highlights a ria and its citize ings, monument the past. selection of ns. In words capital of the s and public notable build and photograph spaces that repre ZAR, through ings that s, Johan Swar British colon sent the devel new democracy t and Alain Prous ialism opment of Preto , Afrikaner natio . Hidden Preto t ria from its early ria nalism, apart well as consi heid, and trans dering their re-use serves as a record at a partic days as the formation into ular point in and reinterpreta that we can create the city’s histor the heart of our tion today, for a solid found y, capturing remn it is only by embr ation from which ants of the past acing the influe to build our share as nces of our divers Johan Swart d future. holds a maste e heritage r’s degree in archi history and leads tectur e and heritage a heritage-foc studies. At the used design studio university, he University of is also respo for post-gradua Pretoria, he teach nsible for the academic intere te students. As safeguarding es architectur sts include the curator of the and interpretati al history of desig architecture Alain Proust on of significant archives at the has been photo n, archival pract historical draw graphing build ice, cultural lands enables him ing collections. ings for decad to capture the capes and adapt His es. In Hidden essence of a build ive re-use. to spaces that Preto ing ria are not open in a single frame , his understand to the public, , while his ingen result is tangib ing of architectur often photograph le, and his image uity al and space resourcefulness ing them with s will serve as just natural light gained him acces a legacy for histor and a minim s ians, archivists um of equipment and custodians . The of our herita ge.

RIA

Despite being South Africa’s capital city, Pretoria has often played a supporting role to bold and brash Johannesburg and Cape Town’s cosmopolitan charms. However, when it comes to architectural heritage, the ‘Jacaranda City’ is well-endowed. From the skyline-dominating Union Buildings and Voortrekker Monument, to the imposing edifices that make up its administrative precincts, Pretoria might almost be deserving of a second moniker: the city of sandstone, JOHAN SWAR brick and granite. But when you look beyond the ALAIN PROU T ST impressive façades, soaring columns and linear planes of buildings that were intended to convey power and authority, you’ll find light-filled interiors embellished with decorative touches that are only hinted at from the pavement. Murals, mosaics, domes, galleries, stained glass windows, gleaming brass and impressive woodwork are often hidden from view behind doors that are closed to the public. Even those museums, buildings and places of worship that are open to all have architectural and design features that are easily overlooked unless they’ve been pointed out. The history of the city and, often, the country too, has been played out in many of the places featured in Hidden Pretoria. This story of our shared heritage deserves to be captured for a new generation so that they recognise the value in the built environment and the need to preserve the past in order to protect the future. Out this October. 781432 3 04652

www.penguinran

domhouse.co.za

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Leading Architecture & Design August/September 2019