Q and A with Katherine Robinson, Stellenbosch Municipality’s new Senior Heritage Planner

1 June 2021

Stellenbosch Municipality recently appointed Katherine Robinson as Senior Heritage Planner. She joined the Department of Planning and Economic Development in February 2021.  Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation asked Katherine a few questions about her interest in heritage and her new position. Q: You have worked for several years with heritage related issues. Why Heritage? Was it a […]

New chair for Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation

30 May 2021

Lauren Buchanan, newly elected chair of the Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation, sees the Foundation become more widely and pro-actively involved in the broader community of Stellenbosch. Lauren has been on the Foundation’s executive committee for the past three years and is also involved with projects for the national Heritage Association of South Africa. She has just […]

Heritage under fire

30 May 2021

In the past years, heritage and its reciprocal relationship with society have been in the news and also circulates in everyday conversations. Again, so when the recent fire in Cape Town destroyed amongst others the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Reading Room and significant parts of the library, Fuller House, Cadboll House, Mostert’s Mill, hectares […]

April fires

26 May 2021

In April the restoration of the Bloemfontein City Hall, which was gutted by a fire in 2017, was completed. Mangaung Metro Municipality formed a task team with Roodt Architects to manage the restoration project. Architect Anton Roodt explained that the restored building looks very similar to the original building, which was the agreed upon purpose […]

A historical garden in Stellenbosch

26 May 2021

Charles and Dorothy Johnman were conservationists at heart ( They wished that their house in Herte street to be a home for music and that future generations will also enjoy the garden. When Dorothy died in 1995, she left her house and beautiful garden in the middle of historic Stellenbosch for use by future generations. […]

Lanquedoc building nominated for Provincial Heritage status

26 May 2021

Stellenbosch Heritage Foundation nominated a building in Lanquedoc for Provincial Heritage status. Several generations have shared their lives in various ways with the Old Shop, as it is affectionately called. This building was designed in the late 1800’s by Sir Herbert Baker as part of a bigger project when Rhodes commissioned him to plan a […]

2021 Pritzker Prize underlines shift in architecture

25 May 2021

The 2021 Pritzker Prize, architecture’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize, to Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal underlines a gradual, ongoing shift in architecture. Lacaton and Vassal’s design philosophy includes the Never Demolish principle, which they coined. Architectural design begins inside the existing space and transforms and expands what is already there – the opposite of […]

University of Stellenbosch: Integrated Spatial Development Framework 2020-2035

6 May 2021

Towards a cancel crisis?

6 May 2021

In this article Janine Loubser and Maaike te Kulve asks ‘How did the influence of networked media on the contestation of heritage develop from specific cases like #RhodesMustFall to current processes of “Woke Iconoclasm” and “Cancel Culture”, and what can be expected next?’

Biography of Landscape: Karoo as Canvas

29 April 2021

In this article (11 January 2021), Janine Loubser assesses the shifts in artistic interpretation and portrayal of the Karoo landscape through a biographical exploration of South African artists inspired by this vast arid interior, including the effects thereof on local identity and activity trends. Read more:

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.