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Tribute to Peter Anthony Kuhn

Blog | Date: March 17, 2021

Peter Kuhn was born in East London on 15 December 1938
Peter obtained scholarships in 1956 from the SA Government and the East London Municipality to be able to study full-time at the University of Cape Town under Professor Thornton – White. Some of the noted lecturers at the School of Architecture at the time were Professor Price – Lewis (History of Architecture) Douglas Pett, Deane Anderson, Revel Fox and Mike Munnik
A junior contemporary of Hannes Meiring, class friends included Pierre Marais, Clive Donald, Revel Fox and Malcolm Pierce
Working during vacations for Jack Marston in East London, Hendricks and Stander, Revel Fox and the Cape Provincial Administration, Hospitals Division in Cape Town, as well as spending his practical year in 1959 with the NDPW due to the public service commission scholarship
Peter obtained his B. Arch Degree in June 1962 and immediately executed the design, working drawings and contract supervision of the Military Quarters in Devon, during a period of 15 months with the NDPW, and became a registered architect and member of the Institute in 1963
Peter left the Public Service in 1963 and together with Pierre Marais became a partner in the practice, F H Moerdyk, Kuhn and Marais. At the departure of Pierre Marais in 1965, the practice name altered to F H Moerdyk and Kuhn. In 1966 Jan Moerdyk joined the practice but did not stay for long
In 1968 the practice merged with Tobie Louw and Pierre Marais and Herman Marquart to form the practice, Louw, Marais, Marquart and Kuhn
In 1981, with additional partners, Tobie Louw obtained permission from the ISAA to use a name other than that of the partners and Tectura Architects was established, still the current practice name
Peter began to be involved with the (old) Transvaal Provincial Institute and served on the committee under the Chairmanship of Doreen Greig. Peter held the post of Treasurer of the Pretoria Study Group of Architecture for several years, he subsequently served on the Pretoria Institute for Architecture Committee from 1995 through 2010
Peter lectured at the Pretoria College for Advanced Technical Education on draughtsmanship for part – time students
Peter travelled extensively,
In 1973 he travelled to Mexico to study Mayan Architecture, visited 17 cities in the USA, to study Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, making acquaintance with Paul Rudolph, Louis Kahn, Paolo Soleri, Kevin Riche and some Wright Fellowship members.
Peter went on to visit England, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy. In May June 1975 visited Spain and attended the 12th Congress of the UIA and went on to visit Denmark, Finland, Greece and Turkey. In Finland visited the offices of Alvar Aalto and made acquaintance with noted Finnish Architects, Timo Penttila, Kontio and Raike and Kari Parssinen. Peter made a second intensive study of the work of Alva Aalto
Peter’s passions included, ‘Responsible Practice in Architecture’, and he lent his efforts to this end. In the PIA he was responsible, amongst other things, for Sponsorships, his interactive careful approach endeared him to building supply companies and he was most successful
I worked closely with Peter from 2000 through to his retirement at the beginning of 2015, we did many projects together and can endorse his care of clients, and his making sure that Tectura Architects had a steady stream of work.
In later years Peter travelled to the USA to visit National Parks, particularly in the mid – west, and later with Square Dancing an important part of their lives travelled to the USA to two International Square Dancing Competitive events
Peter’s interests included piano playing, music, drama (participated in plays), his further interests, design, art, pen and ink sketching and gardening.
Peter was involved in the community, school sub-committees, the Kolbe Association and did a lot of work, ‘pro – bono’ for the Roman Catholic Church
Peter was a dedicated member of the Toast Masters Club, an excellent public speaker, he was a member of two Pretoria Rotary Clubs. Peter made an impact wherever he went, and played leadership roles in all his spheres of interest.
Peter played reserve league tennis and squash for the (old) Northern Transvaal, and did swimming and running (before breakfast) to keep fit, and ran 8 Comrades Marathons
Peter married Merle and has two daughters, a dedicated family man, a person of whom, architect and friend, we are justly proud and privileged to have known.
Ian Alexander

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