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Rolf Arthur Jensen (1912-1994)
Papers 1957-1997

MSS 0086


Biographical Note

Rolf Jensen obtained qualifications in Architecture (Liverpool University 1933), in Town Planning at the London School of Planning, and in Engineering (University of Adelaide 1957).  After 14 years in private practice in London, as Assistant/Acting City Architect in Singapore, and on war service, he was appointed Director of Housing and Borough Architect, North Westminster, London (1947-56).  In 1956 he was appointed foundation Professor of Architecture and Town Planning (and Dean of the Faculty) at the University of Adelaide, a position he held until his retirement in January 1976.

Jensen lectured and wrote extensively on many aspects of architecture and planning, with particular interest in planning for cities: in addition to numerous papers he published the books High density living (1966), Cities of vision (1974) and (with his wife Elfrida) Colonial architecture in South Australia (1980). While at the University Jensen was involved with a number of studies relating to city planning and renewal, housing and traffic, notably the M.A.T.S., and directed a number of student projects related to town planning and development.

An obituary of Professor Jensen by J.D. Kendrick was published in Adelaidean on 5 December 1994.

These papers were transferred to Special Collections in December 2003 from a much larger collection of Professor Jensen's books and papers received by the Library in 2001.  Some papers relating to Jensen’s work on high rise development in Paddington as borough architect were sent to the City of Westminster Archives in London, and his army field manuals to the Australian War Memorial.

Contents Listing

Personal and biographical

1. Miscellaneous correspondence and personal documents 1959-1997.  2 cm.
Curriculum vitae and newspaper/magazine articles re Jensen (1970, 1975 and undated); report on study leave taken December 1963-December 1964; miscellaneous correspondence 1959-85; and correspondence of Mrs Elfrida Jensen with the Royal Town Planning Institute with regard to Jensen's death.  1997.

Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning

2. Faculty administration papers 1957-1976.  12 cm.
Comprising documents re the establishment of the Faculty and the degree in town planning (1957-1958) and of the postgraduates programme in town planning and other curriculum development, c1970-1976; papers re staff and staff and Faculty development, 1965 and 1970-1976 (including reports on departmental matters by J.D. Kendrick 1965 and 1970 during Jensen’s absences on leave, study leave reports by Kendrick and by Gilbert Herbert, and correspondence etc. re the appointment of Dr Brine to the Interfaculty Committee on Environmental Studies); course and lecture outlines, and departmental manual.

3. Town Planning Student projects 1963-1975.  15 cm
Bowden-Brompton urban renewal 1963, Rundle St. future development 1964, Gawler Expanded Town 1964, 1968, Adelaide Airport and Hovercraft Terminal 1969, Greater Pirie/Pirie Expanded Town 1973-1975.


4. Files on individual projects contributed or of interest to Jensen, mainly Adelaide.  1957-1987.  70 cm.

  • Hospitals (RAH and general), 1957 with some earlier related booklets and papers, and papers from the 1973 Seminar on Hospital Planning and Design.
  • Elder Hall acoustics: reports and correspondence, 1957-1958, 1969.
  • Reserve Bank, Adelaide: notes, reports, sketches and correspondence re new building, 1960-1961.
  • Changing Pavilion at Park 9, Adelaide (Adelaide University Sports Association): specification, drawings, correspondence, 1961.
  • Metropolitan Adelaide Transportation Study (M.A.T.S.: reports, plans, newspaper articles, minutes of the SPA, 1966-1974, ith some earlier and later related reports.
  • Victoria Square development, 1967.
  • Hackney North and Kent Town redevelopment: reports, development plans, newspaper articles, minutes of the SPA and related bodies, c1967-1972.
  • Normanville sand dunes (re proposed mining of): reports, comments articles, 1969.
  • Monarto: reports of Monarto Development Commission, comments, correspondence, c1972-1975.
  • University of Adelaide Site development Study: report by R.L. Roberts/Hassell and Partners, with extensive notes by Jensen, 1973.
  • National Bank, Melbourne [head office redevelopment]: proposal, appeals against, correspondence, 1976-1977.
  • Adelaide Convention Centre [proposed]: information re, with notes by Jensen, 197.
  • Monorail Rapid Transit System for Warringal Peninsula: proposal by Jensen, with related correspondence, notes and information, c1986-1987.
  •  Joint submission into the Environmental Implications of the Proposed Rdcliff Petrochemical Complex in South Australia 1874
  • Bowden-Brompton Urban Renewal Area Feasibility Study 1963

Professional papers, articles and books

5. Addresses, conference papers, articles submissions and reviews. c1958-1974. 6 cm.

6. Reviews of High density living, 1967.

7. Draft [annotated typescript] of Cities of Vision, 1970.

8. Colonial Architecture in South Australia: correspondence re publication c1976-89, publicity and sheet proofs of illustrations.

9. 'Aegean discovery' ['The wine dark sea']: ms draft and correspondence with possible publishers, 1981-1983.

10. 'Lion city/Before and after Shonan: war memoirs 1939-46': ms draft, with correspondence re [proposed] publication 1989-1991.

11. 'Adelaide’s Egyptian connection' [re Rameses column on North Terrace]: article 1982, with earlier notes and correspondence.

University Library

Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


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