The Team

A dynamic new generation is taking the internationally acclaimed achievements of former Meyer Pienaar Architects and Urban Designers to new heights. The newly branded name is Co-Arc International Architects, a company with a deep sense of social and cultural responsibility.

“Meyer Pienaar has been one of South Africa’s foremost architectural and urban design firms for over forty years,” says director Chris Malan. “As Co-Arc International, we are repositioning ourselves with a stronger focus on relevant architecture for the changing needs of South Africa.” The spotlight is concentrated intensely on sustainability in architecture. “This is an environmentally-sensitive approach, conscious of the need to preserve resources and be energy-efficient. Architecture should serve the wellbeing of society, and meet the needs of people, creating an urban environment which reflects human dimensions.”

The Mpumalanga Provincial Government complex illustrates this approach: the project, governed by an environmental management plan on site, blends into the natural landscape, incorporates renewable resources and passive solar control, and integrates local arts and crafts in the architecture. More recently Co-Arc pushed the boundaries even further with an office block proposal for Sasol Technology, offering a zerocarbon energy solution through a combination of advanced passive thermal design and renewable energy sources.

The list of local and international design and architectural awards has continued unbroken since 1966. Clients range from massive multinationals to local authorities, from small businesses to huge hotel and commercial complexes. “All projects fulfil our philosophy of adding value to developments through the creation of quality architecture and urban design with an extremely high standard of professional service.”

Co-Arc International is a new company established from the ranks of the former Meyer Pienaar Architects. The latter has, for its forty year history, been known as one of South Africa's leading architectural and urban design firms. After forty years the professional experience and expertise of the former partners of Meyer Pienaar is now combined with the young talent brought into the structures of a new company, set to take up the challenges of a dynamic new South Africa and opportunities offered also in the international market. In agreeing to structure a new business entity, the partners and associates of Meyer Pienaar envisaged a company which would present a re-branded image, and become the de facto successor to Meyer Pienaar cc with all seven directors drawn from the ranks of Meyer Pienaar cc.
The motivation was fourfold:

Founding partner of Meyer Pienaar, Wilhelm Meyer, who had maintained links with the practice during his retirement, passed away in 2005, signalling the end of an era.
Co-Arc should be a vehicle within which the black economic empowerment initiatives started by Meyer Pienaar more than ten year ago, could be implemented with renewed purpose in the context of South Africa’s new BBE guidelines.
Given the worrisome environmental problems our planet is facing, Co-Arc should become a leader in the rapidly emerging field of sustainable architecture and development.
As the South African economy re-opened to international markets, the new brand should simultaneously position the firm as an international business enterprise.

François H Pienaar     M Arch (Pennsylvania), B Arch (Cape Town), Arch SA MIArch
Patrick J McInerney     M E P (Urban Design) & B Arch (Witwatersrand), ARIBA, Arch SA MIArch
Barend J du Plessis     AA Arb
J Christoph Malan     B Arch (Pretoria), Arch SA, MIArch
Kagiso J Ramatlhape     NHDip Arch (Wits Tech) Pr Arch T
Catharine A Atkins     BTech (Wits Tech) Pr Arch T