The benefits of improving a public space – such as die Braak

2 December 2019

Stellenbosch is a town and not a city, but it is worthwhile to take note of the wealth of newly published research and incentives that focus on improving urban areas. (A definition for the word city is somewhat elusive and, as Sudjic Deyan explains in his fascinating book The Language of Cities – it can describe almost any size […]

The sweetness of an intelligent design remains

25 November 2019

Benjamin Franklin presumably said that “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after we forget the sweetness of a low price”. This saying is turned upside down in the design of a family home which won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) ‘s award for the best house of 2019. The Irish architects, McGonigle […]

Tracing the patterns of cultural heritage and ancestral homelands

25 November 2019

Two research publications traced the ancient patterns of cultural heritage and the location of ancestral homelands to Southern Africa and in doing so, focused international attention on Southern Africa. A team of researchers from the African Centre for Coastal Paleoscience at Nelson Mandela University found evidence of ancient human culture in patterns made on the dunes and […]


25 November 2019

Unstitching Rex Trueform: The Story of an African Factory A book that follows the story of a Cape Town building that housed a clothing manufacturer, Rex Trueform, received its second prestigious award. Unstitching Rex Trueform: The Story of an African Factory, by Ilze Wolff and published by L’Erma di Bretschneider, recently received a grant from the […]

Stirling prize awarded for community housing in Norwich

21 October 2019

Goldsmith Street, a community housing project in Norwich, wins this year’s prestigious Stirling Prize for British Architecture. This is the first time in history that the prize has been awarded for social housing – or for a street, according to some commentators. The particular innovations in Goldsmith Street are relevant in many countries, and also […]

Stellenbosch Municipality’s Heritage Inventory and Conservation Management Plan receive prestigious awards

21 October 2019

The Stellenbosch Municipality’s Heritage Survey and Conservation Management Plan have just won the Presidential Award of the Institute of Landscape Architecture (ILASA).  In response to this honour, the mayor, Advocate Gesie van Deventer, has said that it is imperative for a town with the exceptional heritage of Stellenbosch to have good guidelines to manage this […]

68 Jonkershoek House by Gallagher Lourens Architects

13 August 2019

“We want light, light and more light, we want to be aware of the mountains around us and we want to still enjoy relaxing under the huge Tipuana tree in the back garden. We live close to the earth, we are not clinical and we prefer the texture to color.” The brief was simple. Click […]

Explore the potential of the Braak

25 July 2019

The mayor of Stellenbosch, Adv. Gesie van Deventer invited the inhabitants of the wider Stellenbosch area in a recent newsletter to “begin a public participation process so that we can gather the inputs and the suggestions from the broader community about how the Braak can be optimally utilized”.  According to this invitation, the Braak has […]

Atterbury moves into historic building in Dorp street

25 July 2019

La Gratitude Manor House in Dorp street, one of the most prominent and second oldest building in Stellenbosch, became the head office of developer Atterbury. La Gratitude is also a national monument. According to its Western Cape development head, Gerrit van den Berg, limited changes were made to the building’s exterior and that interior changes […]

Cutting edge plans to improve quality of life in city neighbourhood

25 July 2019

The company, Sidewalk Labs, recently submitted its updated, innovative and futuristic masterplan to transform two neighbourhoods in Toronto’s waterfront.  If the masterplan is accepted, the implementation of the plan in these neighbourhoods will be the pilot of a project to transform the wider waterfront. Like Google, Sidewalk Labs is a subsidiary of the mother company, […]

New World Heritage sites

25 July 2019

The World Heritage Committee recently attributed world heritage status to 29 new sites so that the list of world heritage sites now contains 1121 entries from around the world. The World Heritage Committee consists of representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and this year’s meeting was held in the city […]

African cities of the future

25 July 2019

In May an international conference, the Forum for Sustainable Construction, was hosted by the American University in Cairo. The conference was sponsored by LafargeHolcim, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of cement. According to Graham Wood the conference was marked by plans for extravagant and glamorous megaprocjects on the one hand and architects trying to […]

New roads must make sense

16 July 2019

Lees hier oor Stellenbosch se paaie.

Development upsets Jamestown

16 July 2019

Talle inwoners van Jamestown  het verlede week hulle ontevredenheid met die voorgestelde ontwikkeling van 55 wooneenhede in die Blaauwklippen on Rivierbehuisingskompleks op ‘n vergadering van inwoners en ander belanghebbendes uitgespreek.  Lees meer.

Thousands sign petition

16 July 2019

Meer as 4000 mense het al ‘n petisie, Save the Square, geteken…lees meer.

Possible freeway upsets residents

16 July 2019

Inwoners van Brandwacht en Paradyskloof is bekommerd oor die moontlike bou van ‘n groot deurpad deur die woonbuurte teen die hange van Stellenboschberg. Lees verder.

Fires and historical buildings: Notre-Dame and Bloemfontein City Hall

29 April 2019

The recent fire that consumed the roof and elements of the Notre-Dame cathedral reached the headlines of most international news sites. Although the nature of the damage to the interior of the cathedral is still uncertain, the building was not completely destroyed by the fire as Gothic buildings were designed to resist a fire from […]

The principles feeding into Stellenbosch Municipality’s Spatial Development Framework

29 April 2019

The previous newsletter referred to Stellenbosch Municipality’s draft Spatial Development Framework, which is open for public comment until May. The preamble to this framework explains that growth and development of settlements is inevitable and that certain principles or core beliefs should be at the basis of all development processes of new settlements to ensure responsible […]

A Boston suburb’s new law to protect bicycle lanes

29 April 2019

The city council of Cambridge, the university suburb of Boston, passed a new law on the 8th of April that mandates the addition of bicycle lanes on all streets due for upgrades. Although this process will happen slowly, Cambridge is now the most progressive cycling city in the United States.  According to the new law […]

Academic African focus on an African city

29 April 2019

Professor António Tomás’ book, In the skin of the city: Luanda or the dialectics of Spatial transformation, will soon be published by Duke University Press. According to Professor Tomás, who recently had a talk at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), the book is “an ethnographic description of how Luanda has come about, how its […]