Johannesburg Police Station, South Africa



1960

This police station was originally named after John Vorster, Minister of Justice and then Prime Minister, the man who created many of apartheid’s most restrictive security laws.

It was designed by South Africa architects, Harris, Fels, Sacks and Janes.

Its large bulk, located in the heart of Johannesburg, asserted the segregation of black and white communities and the coercive power of the state. Several political prisoners died in detention here.

Its modernist style is an example of how architecture was used by the Nationalist Party to reinforce claims to modernity and progress.

The building has changed little in outward appearance since 1994, but its new pedestrian entrance expresses the aspiration of the Police Service to be accessible to all South Africans.

Photo: Julia Gallagher

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