It’s just over 50 years since the passing of well-known
South African architect Norman Eaton (1902−1966).
Emerging trajectories on post-colonial identities,
entangled histories, and positions on decolonisation
makes the reappraisal of his legacy necessary. This
feature posits snapshots of his legacy to open new
dialogues on the meaning of his contribution to the
South African architectural cultural landscape.
Two works by theorist Hilde Heynen will frame
these snapshots, namely ‘The intertwinement of
Modernism and colonialism: A theoretical perspective’
(2013) and, anecdotally, Architecture and modernity:
A critique (1999). In order to explore Eaton’s work as
hybrid expressions that operate in the space in between the west and Africa, the various manifestations of
hybridity are extracted respectively as surface/symbol,
mimetic detailing and undulating wall. His agency is
contextualised within the apartheid paradigm and the
possibility of a subversive text is explored in his work.