Heritage Forum

Awards for iKaya Trust Centre and Dorp Street 101

Nov 1, 2011 | Awards, Forum

Two renovations of older buildings in Stellenbosch received awards of merit from the Cape Institute of Architects at the bi-annual awards ceremony at the end of October 2011: the iKhaya Trust Centre in Khayamandi, by Jan Klingler of kr2 architects and Dorp Street 101 by Johann Slee. The panel’s comments on the two buildings were:

Dorp Street 101:

‘The Architect has succeeded in combining two passions: the practice of architecture, and art.


Public and private are visually and vertically separated in this modest, narrow insert of a building within the historical Dorp Street-scape in Stellenbosch. The historical footprint is left intact whilst a compact gallery type office is added on a new mezzanine level. The luxuries of generous architectural office space are surrendered in favour of facilitating public viewing of art: everyday meetings, coffee-making, and breathers in an olive courtyard at the rear, become a part of current exhibitions or events. The front stoep is host to both exhibition openings and everyday interaction at street level.


A minimalist palette, often raw unpainted textures and simplified detailing forms a backdrop for the art on display, but also reflects the architectural philosophy of the architectural practice. Clever use of LED lighting in the gallery and the Ingo Maurer light fitting in the double volume individualise and enhance the specific event. References to Dorp Street features – ‘waenhuis’ doors and gantry – are reconfigured in a modern context.


Sharing space and encouraging public access is a welcome change to the often grand and self-conscious front-of-house so often projected in architects’ workplaces – in the case of 101 Dorp Street and Gallery, where ‘giving back to the street’ happens in a modest but generous manner, and scale and context are respected. The architects are to the congratulated.’


iKaya Trust Centre:


‘The iKhaya Trust Centre demonstrates how much an architect can transform the daily experience and social development of many people through one well designed building.


The centre, formally a beer hall, has been transformed into a hub of education which allows for transfer of knowledge between all age groups by careful and exciting cross programming. The alterations and additions to the existing building took into consideration a range of age groups and uses that may change naturally as needs be over time. The physical manifestation of the varying degrees of interpretation is an exciting collection of spaces of different scales, sizes and location around a site with animated topography and beautiful distant views.


The loose-fit geometries employed by Kr2 Architects achieve a range of internal and external spaces, each with a strong identity. This identity is achieved through built form rather than colour coding or naming, making it easy for both children and adults to find their way around the set of spaces.


Educational space is prioritised, but not in a sterile institutional manner. Peer learning and intergenerational learning is encouraged by classrooms that scale down to the height of tiny toddle, but these child spaces live comfortably and safely next to an eating space and amphitheatre where different age groups can come together. Proximity approximates and achieves a village-like atmosphere, and this feels like a very natural yet positively reinforcing extension of the surrounding township.


Materials and detailing are modest yet highly skilful. Careful selective elaboration teaches that considered detailing can make gutters and down pipes beautiful. The architecture is restrained yet sophisticated. The architects are commended for a job well done and are encouraged to continue to enrich the lives of South Africans in this way.’


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