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you are here: | Eastern Cape bliss by architect Richard Stretton

Eastern Cape bliss by architect Richard Stretton

Location by Richard Stretton on Top Billing

Eastern Cape bliss by architect Richard Stretton

Our location for this week is situated in the Hopewell Nature Reserve near Port Elizabeth. 

South Africa is a magnificent country to call home, especially the Eastern Cape where Nelson Mandela grew up. This house is a blue-print for sustainable architecture.

Location by Richard Stretton on Top Billing 2


Thousands of hectares of former farmland were re­hab­il­it­a­ted into a pristine canvas for architect Richard Stretton. The simplicity of his construction makes this home a clear example of how to decide on space and structure within a particular setting.

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The uncomplicated construction has made it easier to use local materials and skills. The furniture benefits from natural Nguni design and wood is Richard’s go-to resource and he mixes modern ideas with traditional techniques like riempie benches. Art is almost unnecessary with so many vast and varied landscapes to look at.

Location by Richard Stretton on Top Billing 4 

To preserve water, rain­fall is col­lec­ted for ir­rig­a­tion and grey water sys­tems re­cycle this precious resource. Guests can enjoy these tented suites right in the middle of the reserve’s diverse environment. Here you wake up to the sounds of a 130 bird species in the various wetland, thickets, grassy fynbos and renoster bontveld of the area.

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Kevin Taylor is justifiably proud of what’s been achieved here. In rehabilitating the land, building these homes and manufacturing furniture, the local community have been upskilled and they use the reserve for Xhosa initiation rites. The only neighbours you’re likely to hear are Cape moun­tain zebra.

If you see eyes at night it will be a local genet or caracal. For nature lovers, it’s the best of the good life. 

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Contacts:

Hopewell Conservation
w : www.hopewellconservation.co.za
 
Architect
Richard Stretton
Koop Design
w : koopdesign.co.za

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