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Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU) travelling exhibition showcasing the impressive work of its first-year architectural students will be opening in Johannesburg this week.

The exhibition, entitled “Palladio and the Modern”, forms part of the annual Architecture Students’ Congress, or AZA16, which will be hosted at the University of the Witwatersrand from August 31 to September 3.

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. All the exhibited work has been done by hand.

Apart from recognising students’ work, the aim of the travelling exhibition is to introduce the work to students of other universities’ architecture Schools and the profession itself, and to share the discipline with a wider public.

“The exhibition is an educational and cultural event,” Head of NMMU’s School of Architecture Boban Varghese said.

“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 exhibition will return to its home city, with the final exhibition taking place in Port Elizabeth early next year.

“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.

  • NMMU’s “Palladio and the Modern” exhibition can be viewed in the foyer of the John Moffat Building at the University of the Witwatersrand’s East Campus, in Braamfontein, between 9am and 4pm on Thursday to Saturday. The exhibition opens at 6pm on August 31 and closes on September 3. 

Contact information
Mrs Mary Duker
Principal Lecturer: Department of Art and Design
Tel: 27 41 504 3406