2019

Javett Art Centre

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA + JAVETT FOUNDATION

MAAA - Javett Art Centre at UP - Icon

Overall view

The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria consists of a public art gallery and Mapungubwe museum linked to an open museum square which includes a restaurant and outdoor exhibition space located in a publicly accessible portion of the University’s South Campus. The gallery extends over Lynnwood road with a bridge gallery which includes a pedestrian concourse, stitching together the University’s Hatfield Campus and South Campus and touching down on a new University art square positioned above a new student gallery.

Bridge gallery stitching two campuses

The Javett Art Centre at UP provides a public showcase for our national treasures elevating art firmly into the public domain while celebrating and extending the original historic ‘Tukkielaan’ over Lynwood Road, strengthening the cultural spine of the University of Pretoria.

The pattern of the sunscreen panels on the western side of the bridge provides a cooling solar filter for the building, is a graphic representation of the Shweshwe cloth fabric which has been a part of South African life. This blue fabric has always been a great binding element in South Africa, proving to be very popular with people from all cultures, backgrounds and walks of life – Pedi (shweshwe), Indian (printed), English and Afrikaans (sislap). The ever-changing shadow patterns on the walls and floors reminds us of how much we all have in common

The Mapungubwe Mountain

The second dominant feature of this complex is the Mapungubwe mountain. Juxtaposed against the bridge and located alongside Lynnwood road the shear mass and solidity of this iconic structure will establish its dominance as a new city landmark

These Mapungubwe national treasures of the golden rhino, scepter, cow and leopard will be housed inside this abstract architectural interpretation of the Mapungubwe hill. This solid, iconic, sculptural, vault-like structure were molded using custom formed shuttering.

Public Space

The complex includes two open squares; the museum square and the art square. The museum square will be located on the southern side of Lynnwood road in front of the main entrance. A natural gathering zone, this space is directly accessible to the public, serving the restaurant and playing host to various public functions and events. The main public entrance is located from this square.

In addition to the 9 galleries, the complex also includes a 115-seat auditorium, administrative offices, storage, art conservation and quarantine areas as well as a high-end restaurant serving the art complex while looking out over the picturesque Boys High grounds and opening up onto the Centre’s main public museum square.

The art square will be located where the bridge gallery touches down on the University’s Hatfield campus, forming a raised focal culmination point along the University’s culturally historic ‘Tukkielaan‘ route. The University is well known for its sculptor alumni and it is envisaged that this square could also play host to international sculptural exhibitions and competitions. The space below the square will form a student gallery which will create a direct link between the faculties of the Built environment and Visual arts, thereby bringing together these two creative fields.

What it houses

The Javett Art Centre at UP will house some of the finest works from the collections of the Javett Foundation Trust and the University of Pretoria as well as various temporary special exhibitions. The southern gallery wing will house the private donor collections, including the private collection of the Javett Foundation Trust – the seed donor. The bridge gallery section is positioned alongside the pedestrian concourse with an entrance into the gallery, thereby daily directly exposing the passing pedestrians to art, architecture and academic works. This dynamic gallery space will exhibit various travelling exhibitions as well as selections of the students’ own works of art, graphics, architecture and even projects of a more academic nature from various faculties.

Mapungubwe has always had a very strong connection with the University of Pretoria – both archaeologically and even architecturally – and by providing this fitting setting for these treasures, these pieces can now be proudly displayed to the world as a celebration of Africa’s rich history.

The Javett Art Centre at UP provides a valuable contribution to the University, the city, and the country through the reactivation and unification of the University, the cultural enrichment and education of the city, and the international attraction of an uplifting national celebration of our rich African past.

Mathews and Associates Architects cc is an award winning architectural and design practice which was formed in November 2000. Our practice consists of Pieter J Mathews as lead architect supported by a dynamic team of colleagues and support staff. As a dynamic and innovative company we understand the importance of technology. Our office is fully equipped with the latest graphics, construction sharing and architectural 3-D software on the market. Our numerous awards bear testimony to our skills and talent. Herewith a list of projects undertaken

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Pieter J Mathews was born in Lichtenburg Northwest province where he matriculated in 1985 (head boy). He obtained his degree in Architecture at the University of Pretoria (1991), receiving the prestigious Gold Fields of South Africa Scholarship for Architecture. He completed part of his practical training in London, after which he travelled extensively around the globe. He is principal of Mathews & Associates Architects cc based in Pretoria. Mathews and Associates Architects cc have received numerous awards and their projects have been published in many local and overseas publications with the latest being the prestigious PHAIDON Atlas (electronic), Arch Daily (electronic), UK Guardian and the official 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale catalogue. The latter was a result of his appointed by the Department of Arts and Culture as curator for the official South African Pavilion at the 15th Architecture Biennale Venice. Other biennale participation includes Sao Paulo Brazil (as part of Sharp City), Miami Beach USA 2005 and the 2012 Venice Biennale (Traces of centuries & Future steps). He was the President of the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA) 2013/2014, ex board member of SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) and Cool Capital 2014 and 2016 Biennale founder and convener. The PIA President’s Award was bestowed on him in 2005 & 2014 for his book Architexture and Cool Capital respectively. He received the University of Pretoria Department of Architecture Boukunde Zero Hour recognition (edition 3) in 2012. He was elected member of the “Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns” in 2014. In 2018 Mathews was honoured by die ‘Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns’ with the Medal of Honour Visual Art (Architecture). This prestigious award has only been awarded to 20 architects since the establishment of the foundation in 1909. Pieter created Visual Books, an imprint of Mathews and Associates Architects as a bespoke architectural and design publishing house. Visual books and Mathews have published - Detail Housed and Architexture, edited the PIA Contemporary Capital publication and is publishing manager for Construction Primer by Hans Wegelin. He co-edited #Cool Capital Catalogue in 2015 with Carla Taljaard and acted as editor of the 2017 Cool Capital Guerrilla Design Magazine. (Both publications were exhibited at the Austrian Vienna Take festival 2017 to showcase the best international independent design publications). In 2017, Saadjies was released with an Afrikaans iteration in the works. Public speaking engagements included the PIA Idea conference in 2016, TEDxPretoria 2016, various student congresses with the last being keynote speaker at the AZA 2016 conference held at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2016 Pieter was invited by the Danish curator to take part in a panel discussion at the La Biennale di Venezia. In 2017 was a guest speaker at the Attractions Africa conference hosted by Tourism South Africa in 2017. He is also the founding member of MG Design Box (interior design boutique), Visual Books (architecture publishing house) and the Cool Capital Biennale (a citizen driven initiative with the aim to bring design into the public domain). The Cool Capital project was a finalist in the 2015 Loerie Ubuntu awards and BASA winner Innovation for the PPC public benches project. The Saadjies travelling art collection received a BASA award in 2017. He was executive producer for the documentary film “DorpStad” unwrapping a Cool Capital which premièred in 2015 at the Sax Theatre Irene. Dorpstad (ENABA) was selected for the Hilversum Scenecs Film festival in the Netherlands and one of three documentary finalists for the 2016 Kyknet Silwerskerm film fees. Other related creative interests include furniture design, product design, and the curation of urban art. The latest urban functional art project was commissioned by the Stellenbosch Outdoor Sculpture Trust for a bicycle stand in 2018 in front of the Skuinshuis and the old synagogue in Stellenbosch. Other commissions included Southern Guild foundation, Concrete Growth as well as House & Leisure- Absolute Vodka for designing various bespoke pieces. Sculpture is another of his keen interests: he successfully completed two sculpture courses in 2010 at the Fried Contemporary, followed by an exhibition in 2011 at the Association of Arts Pretoria called Form, Scrap & Order. Art curation in the urban domain is another of his fortes. In 2014 Mathews and Associates Architects with Pieter as curator was appointed by SANRAL (SOC) Pty Ltd and the City of Tshwane to curate public artworks for the A RE Yeng TRT bus stations. 11 of these public sculpture and artworks have already been installed throughout the city. Appointment as curator for the 2016 Aardklop kunstefees followed. The Saadjies exhibition was selected to be showcased at the North West University Alumni Hall, as part of a travelling exhibition. The Saadjies project has received the BASA award in 2017. As an outflow of his belief that art, architecture and sculpture should be in constant dialogue, Mathews and Associates Architects cc have been appointed to design the new Javett Art Centre at UP that would cross Lynnwood road. This major gallery, museum, restaurant and auditorium complex would place art in the core of the public domain with a bridge gallery linking North and South Campuses. As research component for this major undertaking he was invited in 2013 to form part of a UP study group to the USA, organized by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation to visit various Museums and gallery buildings. These included the Yale University Art Gallery, Zimmerli Art Museum, Princeton University Art Museum, The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University, Grey Art Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Pieter is currently completing his Master of Architecture with specialisation in Design at the University of the Free State. Pieter is married to Ami and they have two boys Gian and Kyle.