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Magriet Steynberg, 2014


Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
Building as Object


Hannah Le Roux
Paul Kotze
Diaan van der Westhuizen



Section A

Section B
Sarel Marais and his family were one of the rst settlers in the
Witwatersrand Area. Like the Tswana who had previously lived in
the area, Marais had acquired land with ample grazing, fertile soil,
plenty of water and an abundance of game. Sarel Marais
constructed the farm house around 1850's. The ruins of the


residence can still be seen in the southern part of the

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve.

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The bricks used to construct the homestead were made from clay
that was found locally. The roof was thatched and supported by
yellow wood timbers and the ceiling was also constructed of reed
and mud. The oors were made of the traditional mixture of mud

Built Form

and cow dung. In the store room the mud oor was marked off in
1foot squares.

Site Plan


Movement Structure

The site that Sarel and his wife selected for their homestead faced

Primary Path
Secondary Path

west and had an unobstructed view of the Bloubossspruit. The back of

the homestead snuggled into the base of a 'koppie.' While the ground
to the south, being lush grassland, was ideal for cultivation and


To the west of the homestead was a wagon shed and walled orchard.
Most of the trees in the orchard were peach trees. Apart from the fruit

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that was either dried or preserved a large portion was also used to
produce brandy. The orchard was irrigated from a weir that was
erected across the spruit. Water was channelled to an earth dam and
then into the orchard. It is believed that Marais also planted a vineyard

Building In The Urban Context

but it no longer exists.

Circulation to use


Unit to Whole

The house can be described as an I-plan house which was common
with the early settlers. The I-plan also had an kitchen which is the room
behind the voorkamer with a hearth. Even though the rooms left and
right of the voorkamer were usually dedicated as bedrooms they in
the boer settler culture these rooms were not particularly private. The


I-type, which was used from early Dutch settlers in the Cape, was
initially a small house and as the family or fortune grew, rooms like
kitchens and agterkamers could be added which is probably what

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happened in this case. This homestead does not fully comply with the
alphabet plans in terms of its proportions but it has a denite
geometry. This is probably because the the trekboers were forced to
become their own architects and builders and built with the knowledge

Building As Form

passed between them during the Groot Trek.

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