National Defense Headquarters building, Potgieter Street, Pretoria, Tshwane
The Barracks of the Transvaal State Artillery Precinct were constructed between 1896 and 1898. It is a Heritage Building along with the whole complex and the General Building. The Barracks became known as the Paul Kruger Building in honour of the old president. It has historical, architectural, cultural and military significance due to its importance for the country as Army Headquarters.
1. Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) - utilised by British Forces as headquarters
2. World War One (1914-1918) - headquarters of the Union Defense Force
3. World War Two (1939-1945) - headquarters and (due to expansion) the base ordinance depot of the Union Defense Force
4. Korean War (1950-1953) - headquarters of the Union Defense Force
5. The Bush War (1966-1989)
Representative of the Wilhelmiens Architectural idiom as established by the Department of Publci Works of the ZAR
Current known heritage status
The South African National Heritage Resources Act, No 25 of 1999, has the "aim of promoting the good management of national estate and to enable and encourage communities to nurture and conserve their legacy so that it may be bequeathed to future generations."
The whole complex of the South African Army Headquarters was declared a national monument in the 1970s. The Department of Public works scheduled the restoration of the buildings in 1997. The Machine Building houses the library after the restoration .
Possible interested and affected parties
The South African Army
The South African Government
Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria
Pretoria Institute for
The Barracks were designed and constructed to house troops in the Transvaal State Artillery, and their specifications were drawn up by the Department of Public Works in February 1896. Regarding the construction of the barracks:
Description of alterations with dates affected
In 1927 the General Building was constructed in front of the Barracks, in the process defacing it. With the advent of technology, a futher defacing of the building occurred with the installation of air-conditioning.
Description of site and/or structures and/or interior spaces
The building is designed in the Neo-Renaissance Style. There is a play between red brick and light coloured stone work. The barracks were constructed of facebrick on a rectangular floor plan and with double pitched roofs.
The front facade of the barracks is 315 feet long (96 meters), and 106 feet and 8 inches wide (32 meters). It is divided into 2 sections each with 2 storeys and a loft. A clocktower is placed on top of the building which is 82 feet and 6 inches above the ground (25 meters) making it the highest point of the building. In the design of the barracks, fire hazard was taken into consideration as well as cleanliness and hygiene. Used beams, stairs, and floors were made of iron and stone. Iron beams separate the second storey floor from the loft.
Jay, R. 2012. T'he South African Army Headquarters - the history of the Transvaal State Artillery Precinct 1894-2010. Manuscript submitted for publication.
The history of SA Army Headquarters Building (n.d). Availablie from: http://www.army.mil.za/aboutus/building_history.htm (Accessed 06 June 2012).
Acknowledgement: Colonel Marais