Sammy Marks Square, C/o Helen Joseph and Lilian Ngoyi Streets, Pretoria City Centre, Tshwane

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Date of origin
January 1993 - Square and Pedestrianised redevelopment.
Pretoria City Centre
Cnr. Helen Joseph (formerly Church) and Lilian Ngoyi (formerly Van der Walt) Streets
Magisterial district
South Africa
GPS coordinates
25º44'45.28"S; 28º11'37.86"E
Planning authority name
City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
Firm/Landscape Architect Professional Team: Studio 3 Architects cc (City of Pretoria Component)

Staunch Vorster (Private Sector Component) Gouws Uys and White

Project architect/Designer/Landscape Architect
D Henzen, J Becker and Stauch Vorster.

Gouws Uys and White

Commissioning owner
City Council of Pretoria
Current owner
City Council of Pretoria
Current occupant
City Council Public Library and numerous shop owners.
Previous uses
Businesses and Offices.
Current use
Shopping opportunities, library and an information desk.
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[edit] Significance

Sammy Marks Square is part of the integrated development that includes both public and private sector amenities.  This is done to form a meaningful integration with the broader civic context which would also include the adjacent developments in order to create a precinct which is seen as a "people's place" and serve as an identifiable physical landmark in the heart of Pretoria.

[edit] Current known heritage status


[edit] Known interested and affected parties

[edit] History

Sammy Marks (1843 to 18 February 1920) was a South African Industrialist and financier.  He was the son of a Jewish tailor in 1843/44 at Neustadt-Sugind, in Lithuania, Russia.  Marks was known to be a generous contributor to Jewish communities all over South Africa. In 1898, the Pretoria synagogue was built.  He donated all the bricks and then paid for the electric light installation and chandeliers. A cast-iron fountain was presented by him to the city of Pretoria, which was shipped from Glasgow, very Edwardian in design, at the end of the Anglo-Boer War.  Currently it stands at the Zoological Gardens of Pretoria.  The Kruger statue that was sculpted by Anton van Wouw and cast in bronze in Europe, stands on Church Square which was also commissioned by Marks.

[edit] Description of site and/or structures and/or interior spaces

Sammy Marks Square is integrated with a spacious mall and an array of speciality stores that line the squares boundaries.  In total, it takes up one city block.

The urban context of the Sammy Marks Square and Shopping mall: 

Its Western boundary constitutes some of the busiest portions of Pretoria's CBD.  On the Northern side the Munitoria is located.  The Reserve Bank Building lies on the East and the State Theatre on the South.  The most active nodes for pedestrian and retail activity is on the south-west and north-west corners of the site.  The Sammy Marks Square, Lilian Ngoyi Square and State Theatre mini-precinct all enjoy considerable pedestrian movement and informal trade.  There is also a visual and spatial link between the Sammy Marks Square and Lilian Ngoyi Square.

A clock-tower that is situated on the corner of Vermeulen and Prinsloo Streets,  creates a visual focus.  Its orientation is as such, that it enjoys various vistas from all around it and therefore signage is also applied to it.

The Sammy Marks Building consists of a series of 3 storey, elongated buildings, each with its own gable and double pitched roof. The architecture had the greatest influence on the design language of the square and the pedestrian routes around it. The same romantic approach and distinguished face-brick construction techniques were reinterpreted in order to facilitate a sympathetic relationship between existing buildings and the new exterior development.

The detailed architectural elements of the Sammy Marks Shopping mall that can be seen from the square, include detailed face-brick, mansard roofs, dormer windows, ledges, and colonnades.  The colonnades are softened by the deployment of semi-circular arches.  A horizontal and vertical rhythm is created by the façade composition through the use of a larger-scale order on ground level and then become finer up to the roof level.  Pedestrians that walk on the sidewalk or move through the square is made conscious of their relationship with the buildings total height through these detailed articulations that is evident at eye-level.  The roof's perimeter is made of curved copper which creates visual interest and also reduce the overall impact of the building mass.

[edit] Links,-1.16,56.0 (Accessed 28 August 2010) (Accessed 28 August 2010)

[edit] Sources (Accessed 28 August 2010)

[edit] Photos

Figure 1: Clocktower

Figure 2: View of the Plaza

Figure 3: Stairs

Figure 4: Soccerball

Figure 5: Facade

Figure 6: Columns

Figure 7: Signage

Figure 8: Back View Of Plaza

Figure 9: Passage Behind Columns

Figure 10: ABSA building

Figure 11: Sammy Marks Square

Figure 12: Pedestrian Walkway

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