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Revel Albert Ellis Fox (1924 - 2004)

The Order of the Baobab in

Revel Albert Ellis Fox (1924 - 2004) Awarded for:
His lifelong contribution to the advancement of architecture in South Africa.

Profile of Revel Albert Ellis Fox

Revel Fox was born in Durban on 20 September 1924, the son of Albert John Fox, a customs officer, and Ivy Priscilla Ellis. By the time he had matriculated from Durban Boys' High School. World War II had broken out and he was anxious to join the army. However, his parents insisted that he study first. After 18 months of studying architecture, he enlisted and was sent to Italy as part of the Special Service Battalion.

After the War, he returned to the University of Cape Town, where he completed a B Arch degree. Upon graduating, the worked in the then Rhodesia and Stockholm, Sweden, he returned to South African in 1952, and set up practice in Worcester in the Western Cape, here he quickly established a reputation as an avant-garde architect of outstanding sensitivity and skill.

While in Worcester, he also became involved in several important restoration projects, an interest that would be sustained throughout his career.

In 1957, he moved his practice to Cape Town, where, while continuing to produce significant architectural works, he became involved in many aspects of architectural education, finally serving as Chair of the Council of the University of Cape Town in 1998 and 1999. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town.

In his early years in Cape Town, he also became involved in the affairs of the Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. He served as its President from 1973 to 1975, and at the time of his death was a member of its Heritage Committee. In 1966, he enrolled for the degree of master of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Cape Town, which he obtained with distinction in 1969.

He received the Gold medal of the Institute of South African Architects for his outstanding contribution to architecture in South Africa in 1977. In 1994, he was awarded the South African National Monuments Council's Gold Medal for his contribution to conservation in South Africa. In recognition of his lifelong contribution to excellence in architectural practice, education and professional affairs, and the advancement of architecture ion South Africa, he also had the degree of D Arch (Honoris Causa) conferred on him by two universities, the University of Natal (1993) and the University of Cape Town (2001).

Because of his known opposition to the apartheid regime, Fox was invited to join the delegation which went to Dakar in 1987 to meet with representatives of the then exiled African National Congress. At the time of his death, he was on the Board of the Freedom Park Trust. In this role he was instrumental in guiding the very successful architectural and planning components of the park.