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date: 16 October 2019

Cape Dutch stylelocked

  • R. H. Fitchett

Extract

Architectural style developed at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, during the period of Dutch East India Company rule (1652–1795). Despite subsequent British stylistic innovations, its use continued in country districts until the 1880s. The term was first acknowledged, with reservations, by G. E. Pearse in 1933 but was given authority only in 1953 by C. de Bosdari. It covers three main building types: farmhouses, town houses and public buildings.

The early development of both domestic types followed similar lines, with the availability of materials being the major determining factor. Local bricks were under-fired and insufficiently water-resistant, which led to the use of lime plaster on exteriors, creating a white-walled aesthetic. Experiments with tiled roofs were unsuccessful, resulting in the adoption of thatch. Roofs were hipped at first, but were gradually replaced with half-hipped or gabled ends; the latter were given decorative outlines from an early date. Most early houses were rectangular in plan and only one room deep. However, the larger residences of the officials had more complex plans and triple-gabled façades with a central full-height gable flanked by dwarf gables....

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