73 Juta Street Braamfontein Johannesburg South Africa, 2000
Johannesburg: 26.2041° S, 28.0473° E London: 51.5072° N, 0.1276°
The CH Fernando House, by Sri Lankan architect Minnette de Silva, was demolished so recently that the rubble is yet to be cleared. De Silva maintained that a building could be modern while honouring its context, and the use of rammed-earth technology alongside Indigenous building techniques in this house demonstrates this.
Completed in the 1950s, the CH Fernando House remained occupied by the original owners until their death a few years ago, and the city moved ahead without it. Though de Silva was a pioneer, her work and career went by largely unnoticed, and there are only a handful of buildings still in existence designed by this champion of modern regionalism and participatory design. Her remaining buildings are the only material remnants of her work, and their preservation is urgent.