It is always a rewarding experience to be able to restore/renovate or adapt an existing older structure imbued with character and history. The process also affords the opportunity to allow it to learn new ways to accommodate contemporary needs, while being an environmentally sustainable approach as it conserves the embodied energy of the structure, it also ensures heritage continuum.
This type of rehabilitation project is not without its challenges, and this case was not an exception. Due to outdated technology and building methods employed in the old structure, the retro-fitting of elements such as new solar geyser was necessary. Further to this, the electrical installation as well as plumbing and water reticulation had to be redone.
The spatial arrangement of this simple three bay cottage, probably built in the early 40’s, was compartmentalised, which necessitated the demolition of some internal walls to improve functionality. The original footprint was rectangular with the Victorian profile metal roof expressed as a forty-degree double pitch with clipped gable ends. Lean-to roofs of a lower pitch covered the back and front enclosed stoeps. These enclosed stoeps, among other window elements were reinstated by opening them up, thereby revealing the original façade to the street scape in the process.
Being sited on the street building line of a large property stretching far back, a low werf wall was introduced around the sides and some distance to the back. This hard landscape framing devise assisted in consolidating the cottage and outbuilding on the site.
As the property falls within the proclaimed Stanford Urban Conservation Area, a heritage permit had to be secured from Heritage Western Cape before the normal authority approval process could be undertaken. This cottage is now Graded as IIIC in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999.
“Dit lyk werklik goed.” “A note of appreciation for making all of this happen.”
– Anthonie Troskie SC