UNISA Muckleneuk Campus, Preller Street, Muckleneuk, Tshwane

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Date of origin

1st Building completed 1972

2nd Building completed 1979

3rd Building completed 1983

2nd Admin building completed 1994

New Entrance building: Under construction

Es'kia Mphahlele Registration Hall completed 2009

Architect Brian Sandrock Architects
Muckleneuk Ridge
Street Preller Street
Town Pretoria
Magisterial district Tshwane
Province Gauteng
Country South Africa
GPS coordinates
25° 46' 02S; 28° 11' 58E
Planning Authority Name City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality
Project architect/Designer
Commissioning owner University of South Africa
Current owner
University of South Africa
Current occupant
University of South Africa
Previous uses
All buildings in the Unisa complex have been used for educational purposes from the beginning 
Current use
Main Campus for the University of South Africa
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[edit] Significance

The UNISA complex on the Muckleneuk Ridge forms part of the skyline of Pretoria. The buildings were built in the Brutalist style of the 1970's, and house the biggest and oldest University in South Africa. With the construction of the Theo van Wijk building (the main building resting on the column under which the entrance road runs), a steel beam weighing 65 tons was used to uphold the structure. The steel beam can withstand 7.9 million pounds of pressure and can carry a continued load of 5 million pounds. The building, finished in 1972, can withstand galeforce winds of up to 230 km/h.

The building complex is significant as it marks the headquarters of the largest University in South Africa and one of the mega universities in the world. It welcomes visitors from the South to Pretoria.

[edit] Current known heritage status

Protected as architecture.

[edit] Known interested and affected parties

[edit] History

When the University of South Africa first moved to Pretoria in 1918 it rented offices in Somerset House & Vermeulen Street. The University expanded into the Transvalia building in Pretorius Street and in 1953 the division of External Studies (established on 15 February 1946) moved into the administration building [www.unisa.ac.za] on Skinner Street. The new UNISA complex on Muckleneuk Ridge was finally completed in 1972 and became the new impressive home of the University of South Africa.

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

UNISA is one of the great features of the Pretoria skyline. As one approaches Pretoria from the R21 towards the Fountains circle UNISA sits on Muckleneuk Ridge towards the right. The  flowing structures accentuated by the sail-like structure of the Administration building are built in the Brutalist style, mostly in concrete. The Facade has a rough natural finish of a light brown colour.

Many buildings make up the UNISA complex. The first buildings were built in 1972 and UNISA is still expanding at present, with a new entrance building currently under construction.

The complex expands to the east along Muckleneuk Ridge.

[edit] Links


Google sketchup model: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=829f0f788b576f86ffab51af9477204e

[edit] Sources





Sources include old newspaper articles collected from the public library at Sammy Marks Square, Pretoria.

[edit] Photo's

Figure 1: Theo van Wyk Building
Figure 2: OR Tambo Building
Figure 3: OR Tambo Building_Finishes
Figure 4: Map of UNISA
Figure 5: New Entrance Building under Construction

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