Robert Gardner Meek
19.08.1951 – 01.01.2014
11h00 Thursday 9 January
St George’s Cathedral
A tribute to Rob Meek
by Andrew Flint
Rob’s partner at GAPP Architects
It is with profound shock and sadness that we record the sudden untimely death of Rob, who died from a gunshot wound as a result of an attempted armed robbery attack on New Year’s eve whilst he was on holiday with his family at Sinangwana on the wild coast near Port St John’s. Rob’s gentle and empathetic nature makes this senseless act all the more bewildering and difficult to comprehend.
Rob began his studies at the Nelson Mandela University (formerly UPE) and obtained his architectural degree at UCT, going on to study Urban Design at Oxford Polytechnic. Rob was a founder member of GAPP Architects and Urban Designers, and before that a partner of Prinsloo Parker Flint Elliott and van Den Heever. Some of us have known Rob since university days and have worked in practice together for over 30 years, 20 of which have been with GAPP. He brought a special touch to the practice of urban design with his unique understanding of everything maritime, which was firmly anchored in his deep love of sailing. Rob was also a practical and talented architect and his portfolio of projects demonstrates that he was able to combine the best of all his talents in the various waterfront developments with which he has been involved over the years.
In the early years of the V&A Waterfront GAPP were the Urban Designers, and Rob lead the pioneering project for the conversion of Quay 4 and the new facilities for the NSRI. Dave Jack, the first CEO, has acknowledged this as one of the original benchmark design projects that set the world class standard for the Cape Town Waterfront. Rob has more recently been involved in the Precinct Plan for Granger Bay, which will link the V&A Waterfront to the Atlantic Seaboard. In addition to this he has been a central player in motivating for a new small craft harbour with Provincial and Local Government, in order to provide a safe haven for small fishing and recreation craft in Granger Bay. Rob was also the lead Director on the Knysna Quays Marina development which stands as a successful model of a small town mixed use waterfront development.
Rob travelled widely and his urban design work has taken him into East Africa and the Middle East as well as projects for local communities in and around South Africa. Recently his worked has included housing and a new integrated community project on the Cape Flats at Oaklands. Rob was beyond all else a team player and his vast circle of colleagues and friends attest to his open nature, enquiring mind and his abounding energy for an active life, lived to the full in the company of friends and family. Rob has left a legacy that will be long remembered and respected and he will be sorely missed. His life stands as a beacon to us all to live life to the full and to strive to add our best through individual innovation, commitment and enthusiasm.
Our sincerest condolences to his beloved wife Di and daughters Claudia and Louise, knowing that Rob has left much to cherish. We wish them strength to deal with their loss in the certain knowledge that they are not alone in coming to terms with this sad event. Rob touched so many in his rich and varied life. We are all the better for having known him.