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After a successful first run at the Cape Institute of Architecture in Cape Town in April, a travelling exhibition showcasing the impressive work of first-year architectural students from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, is now in Bloemfontein.

Visitors admire the models and drawings of NMMU first-year architecture students in a travelling exhibition.  

The unique 432-piece exhibition – which includes 288 drawings and 144 models by first-year NMMU students, in architectural composition in 2013, 2014 and 2015 – is now being hosted by the Department of Architecture at the University of the Free State, from July 11 to 23.

The displayed works include reproductions of 36 villas by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, who lived in the 1500s, and 36 houses by architects from the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition is titled “Palladio and the Modern”.  All the work exhibited has been done by hand.

Besides being a recognition of student work, the aim of the travelling exhibition is to introduce the work to students of other architecture Schools and the architecture profession itself, and also to share the discipline of architecture with a wider public.

“The exhibition is an educational and cultural event,” said Head of NMMU’s School of Architecture Boban Varghese. “NMMU’s School of Architecture is engaged in addressing architectural education that is appropriate, relevant and responds to the contextual challenges shaped by local and global issues ... We are implementing a series of projects that further academic engagement and the travelling exhibition is one of these.”

The University of the Free State’s Department of Architecture is sponsoring this second exhibition, which kicks off during this week’s Free State Festival. A third exhibition of the work will take place in Johannesburg during the annual Architecture Students’ Congress at the University of the Witwatersrand from August 31 to September 3.

“The exhibition showcases the first two projects given to first-year students. They arrive from high school with no experience in architectural drawings and building architectural models,” said Dr Magda Minguzzi, who lectures architectural composition at NMMU, together with Senior Lecturer Ernst Struwig  and lecturer Jean-Pierre Basson.

“Through these projects, the students can investigate what classical architecture has in common with modern architecture. They can see that many of the classical elements are still present in modern architecture … They discover the universal language of architecture.”

NMMU is grateful to the sponsors of this exhibition: the Department of Architecture, University of the Free State; NMMU; Stauch Vorster Architects; The Matrix Urban Designers and Architects Cc; Adendorff Architects and Interiors Cc; NOH Architects; Thembela Architects (Pty) Ltd; Erik Voight Architects; DMV Architecture, MMK Architects; IMBONO FJA Architects Cc; dhk Architects; LYT Architecture; and B4 Architects.

The School of Architecture is in the process of sourcing further funding to continue the travelling exhibition.

  • NMMU’s “Palladio and the Modern” exhibition can be viewed at the University of the Free State’s Department of Architecture on week days from 9am to 4pm. The exhibition closes on July 23.

Contact information
Mr Jean-Pierre Basson
Tel: 0415044895