At the end of August 2015, the architecture fraternity was treated to a series of Sophia Gray celebrations, beginning with the opening of the permanent exhibition of Mira Fassler-Kamstra, inaugural Sophia Gray laureate, 1989, on Wednesday the 26th.
The festivities continued with a mini-conference on the morn of Thursday the 27th, with lectures by two architects, Jan Loubser and Dr. Hendrik Auret who’ve worked with the laureate, Anton Roodt. They shared insights on the intricacies of commercial architecture and a palimpsest of Bloemfontein, respectively. More was in store when the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction’s international speaker, Friso van der Steen from Mecanoo in the Netherlands, took us through an extensive overview of the design process and construction method explored in creating the breathtaking National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Wei-Yu-Ying) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
A light lunch picnic lunch was hosted at the War Museum of the Boer Republics, at which Anton Roodt has undertaken a few projects, while some are underway.
The evening kicked off with an ensemble composed by the renowned South African musician and friend of Anton, Coenie de Villers, which coalesced a classical favourite of Anton Roodt’s with a contemporary rap composition. A short interview between the two friends followed in which a glimpse of the laureate’s personality was revealed to the audience.
The interview was followed by an unpretentious lecture, highlighting some of the best work produced by the company since its inception in 1952, under the headship of Leon Roodt, Anton Roodt’s father, up until now, the last project being presented, being Anton Roodt’s own recently completed home.
The evening culminated with the opening of the exhibition at Oliewenhuis Art Museum.