Margaritas Restaurant Refurbishment, Bloemfontein

The Papadoulakis family is well known in Bloemfontein in the restaurant industry and social circles. Apart from many other restaurants that they have opened and owned, Margaritas opened its doors in 1997. They have received numerous certificates of excellence from tripadvisor for their excellent food, wine and good service.  We approached them with a proposal to give the building a facelift, and to refurbish the interior.

We incorporated the balcony, which was the smoking area, into the floor space of the main restaurant. The windows were replaced with special glass to eliminate the noise from the street outside. We also introduced a lift to cater for people with disabilities, as well as a new foyer area on the ground floor.

On the façade we removed all the elements of clutter and squared out all the curved window soffits. We made use of vertical cladding, wrapping around the corner of the building to hide the old structure behind it, and to give it a fresh contemporary look.

The building was completed in 2019.

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The Edge Restaurant, Naval Hill, Bloemfontein

The restaurant was completed during 2014 in the Franklin Game Reserve.  The building received an award of merit from the Free State Institute of Architects.

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Environmental Centre for Science, Earth and Space, Naval Hill

The success of our transformation of the Lamont Hussey Planetarium into a digital Planetarium, led to our next appointment on this same precinct. The Environmental Centre for Earth and Place, managed by the University of the Free, is built to accommodate bigger groups for educational purposes, mainly focused on astronomy and the environment. The building comprises a community hall with offices for administration purposes, as well as ablution facilities.

This building was completed in 2017.

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Centre for Earth and Space, Naval Hill, Bloemfontein

Refurbishment of the Planetarium (Centre for Earth and Space) and additional facilities located on Naval Hill, Bloemfontein.

The building was completed in 2012.

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Optima Psychiatric Hospital, Stellenbosch

Optima Psychiatric Hospital, Stellenbosch

When our client discovered this Protea farm on the Hellshoogte Pass outside of Stellenbosch, he could think of no better place as a retreat for his patients, and decided to build a new Psychiatric hospital right there. The building accommodates a 16 bed Paediatric Unit on the ground floor, and a 16 bed  Adolescent Unit on the first floor, with a nurses’ station on each level. The plan for both levels is essentially an H-shape, with the nurses’ station strategically placed in the centre in order to have visual contact with all the rooms for supervision purposes. The trusses were designed to accommodate smaller attic therapy rooms, but sadly permission for a third floor could not be obtained. Our original design of the façade changed a lot because of restrictions from the Department of Health, and to satisfy our clients fantasy for a white gable.

The building also accommodates therapy rooms, a dining room and a fully equipped kitchen on the ground floor. The lounge / dining room area on the ground floor opens up onto a patio overlooking the Simonsberg Nature Reserve. Group therapy sessions often take place outside, which is obviously very good for the patients’ state of mental well being.

This building was completed in 2019.

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Wesgrow Headquarters, Christiana

Wesgrow (est. 1964) is a farmer-owned company situated in the Western Free State. They have been supplying the industry with potato seed varieties for the past 55 years, which they source from their distinguished potato variety breeders in Holland and Scotland.

Their offices have always been in Christiana, with different departments scattered all over town. They acquired a game farm on the Free State side of the Vaal River, and decided to build their new head office building on this beautiful unspoilt piece of land. The brief was clear, no pretentious modern building that tries to make a statement.

Their idea was more of a Transvaal Vernacular style building, with separate buildings joined by walkways all on one level, that would accommodate the different functions of this big company.

The master plan comprises an admin component, built around a courtyard with a reception area, offices, boardroom and kitchen facilities for staff members. The interior of this building is modern, with all the necessary state of the art IT equipment.

Totally separate from this square building, is the 44 seater main boardroom for their shareholders, and a lounge with bar area and huge stone clad fireplace. This is certainly not for everyday use. The interior is more Colonial, with exposed solid Saligna trusses, solid timber floors, chandeliers and ceiling fans. It certainly makes a statement without saying a word. This area in turn leads out onto a 280m² covered entertainment area, with a 4 metre wide stone clad braai.

The separate buildings are all connected with verandas to contribute to the Colonial Vernacular character of the development. The verandas have detailed steel columns with exposed Saligna beams and stained shutter board ceilings.

This project has certainly raised the bar in my practice in terms of attention to detail, and reinforced my love for architecture. Many sketches have been made, models built and samples prepared, all to be approved by Ian Easby and Gerhard Posthumus. They know exactly what they want, and they will leave no stone unturned to achieve just that.

Practical completion is due in the 2d term of 2020.

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D’ Olive Rose Hotel, Danielskuil

On the main road of Danielskuil, connecting Kuruman with the busy R31 to Kimberley, is the old Plenary Hotel, which was certainly the best hotel and a fine establishment back in the day, especially amongst locals and the upper class in the mining Industry.

Our clients, who own very successful guest houses in Kathu and Postmasburg, bought this dilapidated hotel and appointed us to convert this old structure into a brand new Boutique Hotel.

The old Lapa, awkwardly placed between the different buildings was demolished in order to create a lovely lawn courtyard. This communal area is to be enjoyed by guests, and also to be used for weddings, private functions and concerts by visiting artists. The new verandas connect the different wings, and serves as cool breezeways in this extremely hot climate.

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OVK Bethlehem, Regional Office & Massey Ferguson Showroom

When OVK Bethlehem took on a merger with Massey Furguson to establish a facility where tractors could be assembled and distributed from, it called for a new building. This new building would comprise a mechanization workshop for the assembly of the tractors, a “parts and accessories” retail division, as well as a new showroom for Massey Furguson.

The regional head office of Bethlehem is also accommodated in this building with offices, boardroom and training facilities.

The building was scaled down a lot from the original design because of budget constraints.

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Midas Central SA, Regional Head Office & Warehouse

Completed in 2010 on 6 Alexandra Avenue, Bloemfontein.  The project is located on a main axis from Bloemfontein to Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu.  It is a prominent landmark to and from the Bram Fischer Airport.  The facade of the building communicates with the immediate context of the Bloemfontein CBD while the warehouse component links the building to the industrial area of Hamilton.

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