A small town in the Overberg in the Western Cape, South Africa: Baardskeerdersbos. It’s there that artists, artisans, farmers and (merely during weekends) city slickers live peaceful together. And something is happening over there except for the annual ‘Baardskeerdersbos Art Route’.
Roland Murzl is an Austrian and settled himself and his family in Baardskeerdersbos a few years ago. He is an artisan builder, building new houses and restoring old ones. He developed the concept of the Mini House; a simple prefabricated wood frame house that can be assembled on the spot. It’s available is standard sizes of 40 square meters and equivalent larger sizes. At his estate he has two. One, in which he and his family live and the other one (half finished for potential buyers can get a better idea of the flexible possibilities of inside wall arrangements, etc.).
In his huge workshop (restored old barn equipped with solar panels for self sufficiency) Roland prefabricate the different elements needed for assembly at the different building spots.
Struisbaai is partly a holiday village for the super rich South Africans who inhabit their houses for three weeks at the most every year during the festive season. You pass it on your way to the Southernmost Point of the African Continent in Cape Agulhas. Not much to see in Struisbaai except the harbour (with its stingrays) and some ugly architecture (but that is personal!). But there are some good restaurants that off value for money, especially when compared to prices in Cape Town. So there is something positive to say about Struisbaai.
And there is more; hardly any sand beach and that is fine for the collectors of shells and seaweeds. There is plenty of it. Look what we found:
Fairly new in the suburb Tokai (Cape Town) is the Norval Museum. It’s where (so it advertises itself) ‘Art, Architecture & Nature meet’.
It’s a wonderful experience; worthwhile the effort. However one remark: when we looked it up on their website it stated that the admission fee was R 50.00 pp and when we, the day after, were at the museum to buy a ticket it was R 175.00 pp. On their brochure it says R 160.00 pp.
The Zeitz museum of Contemposity Art Africa in Cape Town is one of those new additions that has to attract tourists.
A few personal notes:
- Architect Thomas Heatherwick (UK) performed an almost impossible task to transform old concrete silos into a state of the art museum and hotel with maintaining the origin designation in its look.
- The exhibited art reminds me to the ‘revolutionary art’ of the sixties (inspired by student revolts etc.) with the difference that what’s on display in Zeitz is more polished (thanks to modern technology) and shows more guns and violence (African interpretation). Artists like Jean-Luc Godard, Yoko Ono and Wim T. Schippers must have been inspiring the African artists. But there are also some surprises like a few video installations and black and white portraits. But bricks and bottles hanging on a ceiling, for example; have seen that numerous times in the far away past. That only adds to the general excepted perception that Cape Town is one of the three main copy-cat cities in the world.
Some of the architectural details (tomorrow a bit of art)