The John Moffat building: a conservation report

Keeling, Candice
Keeling, Candice
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School of Architecture, University of Witwatersrand
The John Moffat Building was built for the Departments of Architecture, Town and Regional Planning, Quantity Surveying, and Fine Arts in 1957. As a bespoke design, done collaboratively with the Architecture Department, it was quietly successful in meeting the needs of these disciplines and their users at the time. Over nearly 60 years it has been changed in ad-hoc additions and two new adjacent wings, and the users have altered in their organisation and numbers. Regarding tenants, the now-School of Architecture and Planning has been motivating for an overhaul of the entire precinct. This follows a design completion for the new School of Construction Economics and Management building which included some schematic ideas for refurbishing John Moffat Building. These designs raised concern that the building was not being given adequate protection as heritage (just missing the automatic protection provided by the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999 reached at the age of 60 years) and vulnerable to damage by consultants and internal contractors without adequate expertise in the restoration of modernist architectural heritage. This concern is because members of the School recognize the seminal importance of the building as Modern Movement design. This report is intended as a discussion document that will be used to establish guidelines for any future changes affecting the building. It highlights the areas and finishes needing immediate attention. It may also give insights into how restoration can be adapted in a contemporary approach that is aligned with the original, synthetic vision of the original team of architects.
Conservation report done by Keeling, Candice for the John Moffat Building at University of Witwatersrand (Wits).
Architectural conservation, Historic preservation, Historic buildings, Universities and colleges. South Africa, Johannesburg. University of Witwatersrand, John Moffat Building., John Moffat Building (Wits, South Africa)
Keeling, C., 2017, The John Moffat building: conservation report, School of Architecture, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg