The void in available literature pertaining to the origin of the official architecture of the 'Publieke Werken Departement' in the 'Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek', the destruction of the Department by the Anglo Boer-War and the subsequent reconstruction of the Department as the Public Works Department of the Transvaal Colony, is addressed. A new perspective is set regarding the architectural data of the period, by analysis of the cultural doctrine of the different departments. The history of the Department is divided into four periods. The first deals with the era from the establishment of the Department in 1877, until the appointment of Sytze Wierda. The second incorporates the time from 1887 with his engagement up to the outbreak of the Anglo Boer-War in 1899. This period is generally seen as the golden age of Transvaal Republican architecture. The third relates the effect of the war on the Department and the architects while the fourth deals with the colonial time from the annexation of Pretoria in 1900, until Unification in 1910. The structure and work procedure of each department are examined to derive an image of the type of training the architects had undergone and a survey is made of what can be found of the original libraries of the departments. Specific careers are investigated. In this context, buildings are chosen from the researched lists, to be examined. The designated buildings are regarded as documents, and are analized with regard to cultural doctrine and business stance. The first period produced pragmatic thatched buildings. During the second phase, Wierda attained the embodiment of cultural doctrine in architecture, rising above mere utility in building. He strived to create a sophisticated, ideal townscape for the Z.A.R. Continuity was lacking, however, as the Department was at first brought to a standstill, and then wiped out by the war. During the fourth phase, the British Colonial Department brought about specialization of architects as quantity surveyors, engineers and architects. At first, only utility buildings were designed by the Department while prestige projects were given to private architectural firms.
Thesis (PhD (Architecture))--University of Pretoria, 2007.