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April fires

April fires

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...

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A historical garden in Stellenbosch

A historical garden in Stellenbosch

Charles and Dorothy Johnman were conservationists at heart (www.johnman.co.za). 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...

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Towards a cancel crisis?

Towards a cancel crisis?

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?’

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New energy, new approach at Department of Planning

New energy, new approach at Department of Planning

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.  

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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.

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.

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.

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Mobility in Stellenbosch

Mobility in Stellenbosch

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...

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Carpenters Without Borders

Carpenters Without Borders

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.

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House Farnsworth

House Farnsworth

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.

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Another prestige architecture award for South Africa

Another prestige architecture award for South Africa

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.

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Serpentine Pavilion 2020 postponed

Serpentine Pavilion 2020 postponed

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.

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Winners of Post-Pandemic Design competition

Winners of Post-Pandemic Design competition

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.

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In extraordinary times

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....

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Blue and bronze reminders

Blue and bronze reminders

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...

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Green heritage destroyed by strong winds

Green heritage destroyed by strong winds

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....

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The most liveable cities

The most liveable cities

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...

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Recognition for South African female architects

Recognition for South African female architects

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...

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Irish women architects receive prestigious Pritzker Prize

Irish women architects receive prestigious Pritzker Prize

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...

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Useful answers to heritage related questions

Useful answers to heritage related questions

The Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) recently updated their website on which they explain that the Heritage Association of South Africa is the voice of conservation bodies from around the country that are dedicated to conserving the national estate. The...

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Accessibility

Accessibility

Accessibility and mobility in towns and cities are international issues and increasingly so becoming burning issues to solve for town planners as more and more people flock from rural areas to larger towns and cities. Accessibility and mobility can never be solved in...

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Adam Small festival in Pniël is highly recommended

Adam Small festival in Pniël is highly recommended

Trevor Manual provides the audience with a wake-up call The recent (21 – 23 Februarie) Adam Small festival in Pniël impressed audiences with a unique and varied programme, which was compiled by Darryl Earl Davids and presented by the Pniël museum. Highlights included...

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