Buffelsdrift Farm/ SAOTA+Jaco Booyens Architect
© Adam Letch
© Adam Letch Text description provided by the designers. The repair of the ensemble of heritage structures on Buffelsdrift, west of Ladismith in the arid Klein Karoo area of the Western Cape, by SAOTA and Jaco Booyens Designer, an expert in clay structures, just recently won the gold medal at the seventh edition (2019) of the global Domus Remediation and Conservation Award (www.premiorestauro.it) in Italy. The award identifies “quality in the field of repair, redevelopment and architectural and landscape healing at a global level”. © Adam Letch Ground Floor Strategy © Adam Letch The repair included a cluster
of Cape buildings in a valley underneath the Swartberg range of mountains, consisting of a primary home and 2 barns, plus a store. A brief way off is a flat-roofed structure, common of the Ladismith design, which was originally utilized as a red wine shop. Other structures on the residential or commercial property consist of a contemporary shed, a cottage further up a hill and a graveyard.
© Adam Letch Your house, barns and red wine shop were all restored. SAOTA director Greg Truen, who acquired the farm in 2016, notes that while minor additions and modern-day modifications had been made to the structures, the original home, was “in great condition, considering” which the barns were “fundamentally untouched”. In the primary home, evidence of earlier refurbishments in the 1970s, were stripped out, while contemporary bathroom and kitchen were inserted in an adaptive approach to conservation. A new pump house was included near the dam wall on the home. Its style and building and construction were an experiment in modern architecture utilizing the exact same materials and strategies as the heritage structures, consisting of put mud or “cob” walls, as well as brick rose roofs. The landscaping around your house took the kind of a series of low terraces. © Adam Letch Licences to graze animals on the land date back to the mid-1700s, and it is clear that it was farmed prior to the 1800s. The initial circular farm was divided into smaller sized parts over the years. The primary home on this part on the farm go back to 1852. The date and initials IWDV, Isak Wilhelm van der Vyver, are inscribed above the door. The Van der Vyver household was associated with Buffesldrift as far back as 1768, when they initially rented the farm. © Adam Letch Website Strategy © Adam Letch By the way, 1852 was the year in which Ladismith was declared, unlocking growth and advancement in the location. Fruit trees, grapes and other crops were farmed in the valley, although by the late 1800s and early 20th century, crops were largely abandoned in favour of ostrich farming, which brought excellent success as an outcome of the worldwide ostrich feather boom. The collapse of the fashion for ostrich feathers, war and drought brought economic destruction, and the once-bustling valley was largely deserted. Now olives are typically farmed in the valley. © Adam Letch The front area of your home includes a central living-room with a bed room on each side. The T-section included a dining area. While the front area had yellowwood beams and ceilings, the rafters in T-section were exposed. A lean-to section with a fireplace had actually been added in among the elbows of the T using sundried bricks. It was being utilized as a cooking area. © Adam Letch Your house and barns had actually been built according to the typical technique used by Dutch inhabitants in the Cape, with walls of put mud or clay, cast layer by layer about 700mm large. “This method of building– ubiquitously utilized by Dutch inhabitants, trekboers and later Voortrekkers– requires a source of clayey ground into which is added ‘a good proportion’ of sand and grit, potentially straw or dung, combined in a pit, all trod through by oxen-hooves in span,” writes Fisher (pricing estimate William John Burchell’s Journeys In The Interior Of Southern Africa).
© Adam Letch Source