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Wim Swaan photograph collection, 1951-1995

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Swann (Wim) photograph collection

Biographical/Historical Note

1927: Born Willem Albertus Swaan September 6 in Kokstad, South Africa.

1950: Bachelor of Architecture, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

1950-1951: Travelled in Europe and Egypt. Worked for Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew in London on the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

1952-1960: Returned to South Africa. Worked for Andrews and Niegeman in Cape Town. Moved to H. H. Le Roith and Partners, Johannesburg, first as an employee, later as partner in charge of design. Projects: apartment buildings, schools, industrial and commercial buildings.

1958: Master of Architecture, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Thesis: "Low-cost housing: a survey of economic and sub-economic housing for the lower-income groups with special reference to housing European families with children in South Africa," written while Swaan worked as a full-time architect for Le Roith and Partners. Later attended the Yale School of Organization and Management and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

1959-1960: Studied Zen Buddhism and researched Japanese architecture and landscape design at Chotokuin Zen Temple, Kyoto.

1960: Emigrated to London.

1961: Traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, Iran and the Middle East.

1963: Moved to the United States.

1963-1966: Joined Perkins and Will Architects, New York.

1966: Became a United States citizen.

1966-1968: Sabbatical in Europe.

1971-1972: Eighteen-month tour of Europe.

1972-1981: Partner at Perkins and Will.

1975-1981: Vice President at Perkins and Will.

1979: Elek Books Ltd. sold to Granada Publishing. Published only one other book after this point.

1981: Director of Health Facilities Planning in Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum's New York office. Oversaw the new Veterans Administration Hospital, Manhattan, addition, and other large health facilities located throughout the United States.

1990: Received a special citation from the American Institute of Architects for distinguished achievement as a historian and photographer of the art and architecture created by diverse cultures throughout the world.

1994: Retired as Director of Design at Architecture for Health, Science and Commerce, Tarrytown, NY.

1995: Died October 1 of pulmonary fibrosis.




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