RENOWNED Port Elizabeth architect John Rushmere will be honoured this year as the 10th Nelson Mandela University (NMU) School of Architectureâ€™s Milde McWilliams Memorial Lecture laureate since the inception of the nationally acclaimed commemorative event.
The prestigious annual public lecture will be held today in the NMU South Campus Auditorium.
NMU School of Architecture director Boban Varghese said the principal aim of the lectures is â€œto provide a forum for the exchange of architectural thought at the highest levelâ€? in a form that is accessible to both the student body and the community.
â€œThis lecture series has long been a highlight of the national architectural calendar.
â€œOur policy is to focus on the work of important Southern African architects, including those based abroad, and also to celebrate the remarkable contributions made by the architectural practice of Jones and McWilliams,â€? Varghese said.
The memorial lecture is funded by the Milde McWilliams Trust, of which esteemed architect Herbert McWilliams was a founding donor.
The Jones and McWilliams practice was responsible for a number of significant buildings throughout the Eastern Cape.
Landmark structures in Port Elizabeth include the King Edward Mansions, the Technical College, the Port Elizabeth Club, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, as well as many treasured residences in the affluent suburbs of Mill Park and Walmer.
Varghese said Rushmere is being recognised this year for his collective body of outstanding architectural works, many of which are also much-loved landmarks in the Eastern Cape, such as the Duckpond cricket pavilion at St Georgeâ€™s Park, Onion Row townhouse development in Walmer, and Cullen Bowles Residence at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
â€œJohn obtained a B Arch degree with distinction in 1963 from the University of Cape Town and then spent three valuable years working with a group of influential professionals at Associated Architects in Johannesburg.
â€œHe moved to Port Elizabeth in 1967 as a principal partner in the practice of Erasmus Rushmere Reid,â€? Varghese said.
Rushmere has received numerous awards for his distinctive work over the past 45 years, including a lifetime award as the 12th recipient of the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) gold medal in 2001.
He is a previous head of the NMM School of Architecture and is still actively involved in a range of built environment consultations in the province.
Other notable Milde McWilliams Memorial Lecture laureates over the past decade include Gawie Fagan, Macio Miszewski, Luyanda Mpahlwa, Silvio Rech, Andrew Makin and Adele Naude Santos.
The 10th Nelson Mandela University (NMU) School of Architectureâ€™s Milde McWilliams Memorial Lecture will take place at 5:30pm for 6pm in the NMU South Campus Auditorium.