Louisvale Wine Estate nestles in the Devon Valley foothills of the three million year old Cape Folded Mountains. The environmental history of this area was the inspiration for architect, Christof Albertyn’s iconic wine emporium design.
The first manmade structures in the area were created by the Khoekhoe, some 2000 years ago. Their domed structures were made from taaibos laths, covered with woven reed mats and animal skins. When the colonialists from Europe arrived in the area during the 15th century, they brought with them vines, oak trees and built white-painted, plastered houses with gables, reflecting patterns from their home countries.
Khoekhoe hut meets Nieu Cape Dutch homestead
The design rationale behind the Louisvale Wines Wine Emporium is a marriage of these historic elements embodied in a contemporary structure.
The soft curve of the Rheinzink cladding reflects the shape and surface of the Khoekhoe reed mat hut, supported by curved steel rails and connected by floating glass to the polished concrete floor, infused with chips of perlemoen shell.
The Rheinzink dome hovers over a low concrete roof planted with restios, perennial evergreen, grass-like plants endemic to South Africa, which reflects the 1924 thatched-roofed Nieu Cape Dutch style homestead and connected with a glass roofed passage.
The dome facade peels away in strategic places in organic curved shapes to maximise the views of the distant mountains. These glazed cave-liked openings on the other hand reflect the shape of the openings in the perlemoen shells.
The result is a contemporary yet timeless venue which hosts a magnificent wine emporium as well as many corporate events, weddings and birthday celebrations.
A skilled craft
The building’s unique geometric facade illustrates the versatility of what skilled craftsman can create using Rheinzink material. With its natural weathering and patina, this was the perfect material to enhance this awe-inspiring building.
To complement the national availability of the Rheinzink roofing, facade cladding and water drainage systems, the company’s South African office offers a comprehensive support service, including technical assistance on application technique and specifications for planners and installers.
Tel: 021 671 2600
Christof Albertyn Architect
Tel: 082 572 2844
Caption main image: The dome facade peels away in strategic places in organic curved shapes to maximise the views of the distant mountains.
Courtesy of Ignition Design & Advertising
Credit: Christof Albertyn
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