The new Aula theatre was officially opened last week Thursday.

The re-opening of the Aula theatre, the Rautenbach Hall, the Musaion and the Amphitheatre marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the Aula as the cultural hub on the university’s Hatfield campus.

The evening’s events were filled with spectacular performances and art exhibitions showcasing the new venue.

UP students entertained the guests with a variety of song, dance and musical performances and postgraduate students from the Department of Visual Arts exhibited a selection of artworks in the Rautenbach Hall.

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Cheryl de la Rey formally welcomed guests to the evening’s events and commended all staff and alumni who contributed towards the development and construction of the new venue. “The University of Pretoria is forever grateful to those who made the construction of this beautiful building possible, which now stands as the pride of Hatfield campus,” she said.

The changes to the hall were designed by Anton de Jongh of ARC Architects. The use of glass, steel and concrete in the Aula’s design owes its inspiration to the Iron Age archaeological site in Mapungubwe. De Jongh shared his thoughts with Perdeby: “We’ve been working on this project since 2009. I think in terms of the project from a total perspective that we’re not 100% there yet, however, I do believe that we can be proud of what we have achieved so far in the construction of the Aula.”

Photos: Gideon van Tonder

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