Book | The Way of All Flesh, Reflections on Entropy at Work on the Buildings of Roelof Uytenbogaardt

Kevin Fellingham

The book provides a valuable archive of photographs taken of some of Roelof Uytenbogaardt’s most famous projects, all taken some 25 years ago. It also provides, perhaps more valuably, the author’s reflections of the works. The writings that accompany the photographs locate the work in time and place, providing reflections on the meaningfulness of the architecture at the time of its creation as well as their meanings now, in retrospect.

As the author reflects on each of the projects, he locates them in the contexts in which they were created, both in terms of international architectural movements, and in terms of Uytenbogaardt’s own context here in Cape Town.

Uytenbogaardt’s work is undeniably valuable to the architectural landscape of South Africa.

This reflection shows the breadth of the architect’s understanding and vision of the purpose of architecture, from the idealism and heroism of the earlier works, through to the humility and maturity of the later works. The idea of entropy, a gradual degradation into disorder and disarray, provides an interesting lens by which to reflect on this oeuvre of work – a courageous endeavour for a much loved and revered Cape Town architect.

It is a valuable piece of work worthy of commendation.