Breathless at Bosjes

The Gardener|June 2020

Breathless at Bosjes
Spirituality, homegrown expertise and locally sourced materials and labour resulted in a breath-taking landscape that offers relief and comfort to anyone and everyone who visits.

When the owners of Bosjes contracted the services of Londonbased but South African-born architect Coetzee Steyn from Steyn Studio, their brief was fascinating. They wanted him to design a chapel in their vineyard that could be used for weddings and other functions, and they wanted him to find his inspiration in Psalm 36:7.

Steyn’s design, now firmly entrenched in the landscape, has sweeping curves that resemble the outstretched wings of a large white bird ready to take off. This beautiful structure, enclosed with glass walls, was also inspired by the majestic Slanghoek and Waaihoek mountains, the historic Cape Dutch gable of the manor house on the farm, which was built in 1790, and the typical gables of so many other Cape Dutch farm houses in the countryside of the Western Cape.

Once the chapel was complete it needed a fitting garden to surround it, and for this monumental task the owners chose multiple award-winning CNDV Landscape Architects. The design brief was clear and precise: the client wanted a garden to anchor the chapel, to turn the proposed 3,4-hectare space around it into a drawcard for day as well as overnight visitors to enjoy, to be designed with children and the disabled in mind, and to be built with local resources (material, plants and labour).

Water and large landforms

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June 2020