Julian Arnold Elliott
ELLIOTT, Julian Arnold - BArch 1953 (Cape Town); ARIBA (1955); PhD 2010 (Cape Town); PhD (Honoris Causa) (Western Cape).
Born in Cathcart. He studied at the University of Cape Town (1948-53) and spent a year in London working for Frederick Gibberd and Partners (1953-4). He then formed a partnership with Philippe Charbonnier at Elisabethville, Congo (now Lubumbashi, Zaire), which became Charbonnier and Elliott (1955-8).
He was responsible, with Charbonnier, for several buildings in Elisabethville, including the Bocskay Flats (1956) and a group of variegated, interconnected one-family houses of concrete and brick (1956-7), which adapted a traditional African vernacular to modern forms. An innovative private house (early 1960s) built at Itawa, near Ndola, Zambia, displayed Elliott's sensitivity to climate and terrain with its curving, independent rain-roof poised like a bird's wing over the structure to provide deep shade. He established a private practice in Ndola (1959-68), where his designs included the Kasama Cathedral.
He was best known for his buildings (1964-8) for the University of Zambia, Lusaka, planned as a linear complex of linked buildings allowing for future growth. In 1969 he moved his practice to Newlands, South Africa. As a spokesman for a heterogeneous modern architecture in Africa, he was active as a teacher and became Director of the University of Cape Town Planning Unit in 1969. His design (1984-6) for the new Middle Campus, University of Cape Town, was linked to African dwellings with its low-profile clusters of gable-roofed buildings with deep balconies like horizontal slits, planned with regard to older buildings, walks and trees. It expressed his dislike of megastructures and his philosophy for a humane architecture that responded to the needs of its users.
He was also visiting-lecturer to the University of Cape Town School of Architecture in 1967 and University of Natal in 1968 and 1969. In 1969 he was awarded the Ernest Oppenheimer Study Grant. Recipient of the SAIA Gold Medal for Architecture in 2006.
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