Bosjes Chapel drawing poetic inspiration from Psalm 36:7 – “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
Completed in December 2016, was designed by South African born Coetzee Steyn who says: “Its serene sculptural form emulates the silhouette of surrounding mountain ranges, paying tribute to the historic Cape Dutch gables dotting the rural landscapes of the Western Cape.” The Steyn Studio in London also collaborated with South African studio TV3 Architects.
This bright white canopy creates the feeling of a lightweight structure overhead with unobstructed views of the valley which is surrounded by the stirring scenic Slanghoek and Waaihoek Mountain ranges, vineyards and pomegranate orchards. Its located on the Bosjes (‘small bushes’ in Dutch) Farm – in the picturesque Witzenberg district in the Western Cape.
The unique 3D shaped cast-in-situ roof structure rises and falls creating a graceful wave, dipping down almost touching the surface of the pool on the front facade and rising up at the four corners where it reveals a full height glazing elaborated with tall cross-shaped frames, on all four facades.
The 420m² single-storey building is elevated on a plinth which is level with the water on the front façade and the rear of the structure is approached by six steps. Standing at the main entrance and looking across the water and by virtue of the backdrop and its wings, the canopy becomes airborne.
The traditional crucifix forms part of the window frame structure, it adorns all four glass facades and visible from all angles, internally and externally. A golden pulpit is stationed directly in front of it crucifix, together with the basic design of wooden benches softened by dark blue grey cushions positioned on either side of the aisle facing the mountain views. While inside one embraces the peace and quiet of the all spectacular views, as if we were part of the nature itself.
The interior architecture is a large open simple rectangular plan, with highly polished terrazzo floors creating soft reflections of the light throughout the day by the uneven surface of the whitewashed ceilings. To help keep the space free from unnecessary obstacles which may detract from the views, all items used for services and functions are not visible but rather concealed within the base of the building.
The slide below show the plastering / coating material, glazing and curtain walling details.
Thank you Carlos e Isabel dos Santos for the being part of this expedition.
The Bojes farm features a charming guesthouse updated by interior design Liam Mooney , an open-air tea garden, and the Bosjes Kombuis restaurant also by Steyn Studio with a Delft-Inspired mural designed by Cape Town-based artists Lucie de Moyencourt and Michael Chandler, to be continued on the next Blog