Centenary Building officially opened

Posted on June 24, 2009

In his message that is reproduced on the commemorative plaque, Prof Pistorius said amongst other things, that the Centenary Generation has the responsibility to ensure that the University “will forever deliver on the expectations that were created a hundred years ago.” When the next century is celebrated, that generation must be able to look back and say “A great start to the second century was made in 2008.”

Prof Antonie de Klerk, Executive Director in his introduction of the building noted that the process was initiated by Prof Niek Grove, the Registrar, already in 2004. He thanked all the service providers and internal team members for their commitment and dedication during the planning, building and final preparation for handover phase and Council for their support

Prof Andy Mogotlane, Vice-Principal said in his message that South Africa can never be divorced from Jan van Riebeeck. He quoted Jan van Riebeeck who said: “hier aan die voet van die mooi berg wat soos ‘n tafel lyk en wat aan die suiderstrand van Afrika spoggerig oor die blou water kyk, hier, ja, hier gaan ek sommer mooi tuine aanlê, mooi huise en ‘n sterk kasteel bou” – (I am going to build beautiful gardens, houses and a strong castle here beneath this beautiful mountain that looks like a table and proudly gazes over the blue water on the southern shore of Africa).

Prof Mogotlane said the University of Pretoria is an example of great possibilities that follow on early beginnings. He thanked Prof Pistorius and his team for the beautiful Legacy to future generations of UP students. Prof Mogotlane urged students to study hard and use the opportunities provided by university life to educate and prepare themselves for their future careers

The Centenary Building was the first lecture hall complex built on the Hatfield Campus, necessitated by the continuous growth in student numbers, since the inauguration of the Chancellor’s Building in 1959.

The new lecture hall complex consists of six auditoria with 300 seats each and is primarily used for undergraduate lectures and examinations. The six auditoria boast the latest audiovisual and security equipment and one auditorium has power and network points at every seat. The design provided for the optimum utilisation of natural light in every auditorium.

From an architectural point of view, the building blends in with the neighbouring Law Building by continuing its street front and lines. The practical requirements of the six auditoria necessitated a form driven design approach but the Centenary Building yielded a surprisingly multidimensional result.

 

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