Our client, master chef Etienne Bonthuys, appointed us to create, in collaboration with land artist Strijdom van der Merwe, a dynamic artwork; a space in which patrons could have an exceptional culinary experience.
The building, which was to be rehabilitated to house the restaurant, was an 1800 double story, Edwardian 'dorpshuis'; with covered verandahs up- and downstairs, which were added at a later stage. In 1972 lean-to structure and 1980 double pitched structure with a raised terrace protruding into the garden were added to the back of the house.
RIght from the outset we decided not to tamper with the original 1800's structure, as we felt that architecturally it was fulfilling its rightful place in the historical layering of Dorp Street. In respect for the historical core of Stellenbosch, we did not want any of our modern additions to be visible from the from Dorp Street. We decided to concentrate our efforts on the insensitive structures at the back. We wanted to keep to the existing foundations so as not to disturb this archeologically sensitive site any more than what was necessary. We stripped the additions of all finishes, exposing the bare structures and demolished the south-west corner of the 1980 addition, opening the structure onto the terrace and the garden. Any additions would be non-permanent removable structures, the one being the pergola and the other the post box red container housing the cold room.