Franklin & Garland Architects was established in Durban in 1953 by Deryk Franklin and Patrick Garland. Four years later they were joined by Patrick Gibson, who had worked with the firm as a student, thus forming FGG Architects as the company is still known today.
In the sixties FGG was responsible for designing many of Durban’s landmark buildings, including the Sugar Terminal, the first houses in La Lucia and the Standard Bank headquarters in the Durban CBD.
This early success catapulted the practice into the top echelons of the profession and led to the development of the slogan “Shaping the Skyline”.
The Pietermaritzburg office was established in 1969 in order to oversee the various inland projects that FGG had undertaken throughout the Midlands and Drakensberg. This included work at Hilton College, for whom FGG has been retained as school architects for over 60 years.
The seventies brought new challenges and many firsts for the company. Significantly, Greys Hospital in Pietermaritzburg was the firm’s first hospital. Since then FGG has designed over twenty medical facilities around the world.
The versatility of the company came to the fore during the eighties, with projects that covered the full spectrum of architectural design. From Pine Parkade and Expo ’85 suspension bridge to Charter House office block and Westville Hospital – with an array of houses, game lodges and shopping centres in between.
By this point the firm had grown substantially, with a team of over 40 people working out of the two offices, making FGG one of the largest architectural firms in KwaZulu-Natal at the time.
It was full speed ahead when the nineties arrived with a few hospitals on the go, headlined by the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. During the decade FGG would design a number of award winning buildings, including the iconic Hilton Hotel in Durban and Umngazi River Bungalows Resort on the Wild Coast.
The new millennium was typified by residential developments, game lodges and resorts. As was the trend, many projects were north of Durban in La Lucia, Umhlanga, Zimbali and Ballito, but FGG also designed buildings at the Point Precinct, Musgrave and inland. The firm cemented itself as experts in African Lodge design, with several lodges constructed throughout Africa and beyond, including a 200 million Rand resort in Saudi Arabia.
Today FGG Architects, led by Jeremy Hathorn and Kevin Bingham, is working on as wide a variety of design challenges as ever. With hospitals, residential developments, apartment blocks, bush lodges and schools all in the current project profile.