Forum

New energy, new approach at Department of Planning

12 November 2020

The Department of Planning of Stellenbosch Municipality plays a crucial role in the wellbeing of our town. This Department recently made new appointments. Journalist Elsabe Retief conducted interviews with the key role players and also reflects on the history of this department and explores the opportunities as well as the challenges that the Municipality is facing in 2020 and beyond.  

Imagining a Post-Pandemic Future – what will change and what will stay the same? The long term impacts of Covid 19 on our homes and cities.

12 November 2020

Every morning at exactly 10:30 my neighbour waters her terrace garden. At around midday my upstairs neighbour sits outside for lunch. At 15:00 the café down the street can be heard packing up chairs. These insights to other’s daily routines and the sounds of our neighbourhoods have shifted from being part of lock-down induced discoveries to the defining characteristics of most people’s current working environment. In this article, Janine Loubser gives an informed opinion on the impact that Covid-19 already has on how accommodation is designed and cities are planned, as well as the possible long-term effects of Covid-19 on our homes and cities.

Mobility in Stellenbosch

9 November 2020

It is Transport Month and for one week, the Municipality has created space for pedestrians and cyclists. In October, during mobility week, the Municipality gave preference  to non-motorised transport in Church and Andringa streets, and restaurants are open onto the street. Read two pieces here, one about plans for mobility and transport in Stellenbosch, the […]

In honour of a remarkable South African architect, Gawie Fagan (15 November 1925 – 13 September 2020)

8 November 2020

The art historians, Mary Cook and Hans Fransen write that the three most important and influential architects in the Western Cape during the middle of the previous century were Gawie Fagan, Pius Pahl and Revel Fox. All three did important architectural work in Stellenbosch. Gawie Fagan died recently.

Sir David Adjaye wins prestigious 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal

8 November 2020

The Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) 2021 gold medal, went to Sir David Adjaye for his significant influence on contemporary architecture.

Carpenters Without Borders

8 November 2020

Recently Carpenters Without Borders was in the news when they constructed a three ton oak truss, in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral, by hand. This truss is similar to the one destroyed in the fire last year. By making this oak trust, they demonstrated the expertise and all the labour involved when Notre Dame was constructed.

University celebrates Constitution with new work of art

8 November 2020

Stellenbosch University commissioned artist, Strijdom van der Merwe to design an art work to celebrate the Constitution of South Africa. This art work is at the Law Faculty’s main building on campus, the Old Main Building in Ryneveld street.

House Farnsworth

19 August 2020

Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House is one of the most studied buildings from the 20th century and is a wonderful example of Van der Rohe’s style and philosophy. This house in Illinois, USA, was recently restored and opened after lockdown with an exhibition on the talented, original owner of the house, Edith Farnsworth, who also commissioned the house.

Another prestige architecture award for South Africa

19 August 2020

South Africa was recently in the lime light when architect Jaco Booyens, based in Robertson, together with SAOTA, a leading firm of architects based in Cape Town, received gold for the prestigious 2020 Domus Restoration and Conservation Award, or International Prize For Architectural Restoration, that is hosted by the Italian company Fassa S.r.l. and the University of Ferrara.

Serpentine Pavilion 2020 postponed

19 August 2020

South African architects’ design of the Serpentine Pavilion 2020 was postponed until next year. The Serpentine Gallery explained that the Covid-19 crisis has changed the nature of the context in which the Pavilion will be used by the public.

Winners of Post-Pandemic Design competition

19 August 2020

The winners of Rethink: 2025, an international design competition that is hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA), were recently announced. According to the RIBA Journal, this competition was “unexpected and unprecedented … launched in the middle of the global coronavirus lockdown”. The objective was for entrants to generate ideas and imagine what everyday life in cities and towns could be like by 2025.

The Adam Tas Corridor project in the context of current societal challenges

19 August 2020

The Adam Tas Corridor project is a prime project in the spatial and development framework and other policy documents of Stellenbosch Municipality. Furthermore, the project represents collaboration between the three levels of government and has the support of Stellenbosch University, Stias, business and community leaders. Stephen Boshoff delivered an electronic lecture during lockdown to Stias […]

The Flèche of Notre Dame, Paris

19 August 2020

Marilyn Martin, an honorary associate of the Michaelis Art School gives her informed opinion on the French government’s plans to restore the spire or flèche of the Notre Dame. Her insight also scaffolds the way in which we can think about heritage in general.

In extraordinary times

18 March 2020

We live in an extraordinary time and must focus on our environment and fellow human beings. But even in extraordinary times, ordinary life goes on. You can read the small news items that follow within the context of these new and continuously changing circumstances. The everyday, extraordinary and locally distinct is woven together. You would […]

Blue and bronze reminders

16 March 2020

Paul Roos Gymnasium received a blue plaque when they recently celebrated the school’s 154th birthday. A blue plaque reminds the passer-by that something noteworthy and historically significant happened at that specific spot.  In the case of Paul Roos the blue plaque is a reminder that the school led to the founding of Stellenbosch University. Read […]

In memory of Elaine Aucamp – Stellenbosch Interest Group founding member

16 March 2020

Elaine Aucamp, a well-known, colourful figure in Stellenbosch, passed away in January this year. She was actively involved and committed to the preservation of Stellenbosch’s cultural heritage. As a founding member of the Stellenbosch Interest Group, she also served on the committee from 1995 to 2019. With her enthusiastic love for architecture, gardens and landscapes […]

Green heritage destroyed by strong winds

16 March 2020

Stellenbosch lost her oldest two oak trees in the storm that hit the town on the 18th of January 2020. One oak was uprooted and blown over, while the Emergency Team of the Municipality cut off the top halve of the other oak, which stood further down Ryneveld street. Read more about the trees in […]

The most liveable cities

16 March 2020

With 99,1% Vienna is, according to the annual index of the Economist, the world’s most liveable city for 2019 – the second year running. Vienna is known for it’s lavish architecture, art and coffee shops. However, the index also takes factors such as stability (personal safety), healthcare, education, user-friendly infrastructure, expressions of culture and environmental […]

Recognition for South African female architects

16 March 2020

Three female architects from Johannesburg were honoured when their firm, Counterspace, was invited by the Serpentine Gallery in London to design the 2020 Serpentine pavilion. The three women, Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar, are the first South Africans to receive this honour. What makes this nomination even more special, is the fact […]

Irish women architects receive prestigious Pritzker Prize

16 March 2020

Two female Irish architects, Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara, received the 2020 Pritzker Prize, which is Architecture’s highest international honour. Farrell and McNamara are the only members of Grafton Architects in Dublin. Both women also have a keen interest in education and lecture at various universities, which include Harvard and Yale.  According to the Pritzker […]