ARCHITECTURAL GUIDELINES 1. Introduction. The development of Raithby Vines adjacent to the village of Raithby has the overall goal of integrating the...
Author: Stanley West
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1. Introduction. The development of Raithby Vines adjacent to the village of Raithby has the overall goal of integrating the new residential units into the existing village, while at the same time respecting the rural qualities of the site, and providing a “soft” or “sensitive” border between the rural and the urban areas. Direction has been taken from the “Development Guidelines for Rural Areas and Farms” prepared for the Municipality of Stellenbosch. This has been done to ensure continuity with the rural and Cape place making qualities of the surrounding rural areas, while at the same time recognising the specific setting within the village of Raithby, and those place making qualities specific to Raithby itself. 2. Use of Erven The Raithby Vines erven vary in size from 626 to 1320 square metres. The larger erven are situated next to the public open space that forms a buffer between the new erven and Raithby Road on the northern border of the development, and along the river. These erven will be restricted to single story. The smaller erven will be located to the north and west, bordering on the village of Raithby itself. These erven, as in Raithby, may be developed as double story. No buildings will be permitted to be higher than two storeys. This is in line with “The Development Guidelines for Rural Areas and Farms” which state that: “Historical Buildings are seldom higher than two storeys. The height of new buildings should also not be taller than this.” The layout of the erven have been designed so as to lessen the impact of the buildings and create the impression of a grouping of rural buildings and outbuildings. In order to comply with these Architectural Guidelines, the houses must not be designed as single large structures, but rather broken into various components so as to appear as a grouping of smaller buildings. Refer to the example house type plans annexed hereto. 1

3. Architectural Review The building and outbuildings will have to comply with the zoning regulations of “Residential Zone I”, as well as the conditions of these Architectural Guidelines. This will be achieved by the creation of a “Homeowners Association” to which all owners of erven must belong. Owners will be bound by the constitution of the association which will include these guidelines. Any property owner seeking to build will have to have plans assessed by an architect appointed by the Homeowners Association to determine whether the plans comply with these guidelines. Only once this approval has been given will the municipality be able to approve building plans.

An original Raithby Cottage that has been renovated and extended in the same style.

4. Architectural Style. In the spirit of enhancing the place making qualities of Raithby the Architectural style is inspired by the original cottages erected in Raithby. The original Raithby dwellings were not built according to specific guidelines but rather in accordance with available building materials, climate, personal preference and budget. While being inspired by the original Raithby dwellings it is important to recognise that, as the “The Development Guidelines for Rural Areas and Farms” states: “The language for new buildings should be a contemporary language. The building should respect the vernacular architecture and interpret it in a way that responds favourably to the context”. The “Guidelines” further state that: “It is a tradition of building that takes many years to perfect, purely copying it would not enhance the qualities of the original or the new. It would just be fake. In understanding the distinct character and “spirit of the place” a better 2

understanding can be attained as to how to build within the context of rural Stellenbosch… In concentrating on issues specific to a place one can adapt methods drawn from outside as long as these other influences are subordinate to the culture of the region. The local aspect of the building can then be reflected… The interpretation thereof can however be modern.” The overriding theme of these architectural guidelines is therefore to create a style that reflect both the Stellenbosch rural and Raithby village place making qualities, while at the same time providing for family homes of a suitable size and incorporating modern living standards.

The architectural style is primarily rural Cape Dutch, without thatch roofs but with Victorian profile corrugated iron roofs at 30º. There are a lower “stoep” roofs at the front and rear at 5º, with a smooth connection between the roofs. The gables are narrow and do not exceed 5m in width. Within these guidelines there can be variations but the overriding condition is that the architecture must have a cottage feel. Larger structures must be broken up into smaller components to maintain a sense of scale. A large house can have the appearance of two houses joined together or as a main house with outbuildings. Refer to house type plan annexed. 5. Colours of Buildings and decoration: “Quiet Architecture” It is appropriate that the “Development Guidelines for Rural Areas and Farms” provide the basis for building colours and decorations, as these also conform to Raithby village styles. “Colour should be used judiciously as walls were traditionally lime washed. Natural pigments were sometimes added to the lime to give subdued pastel shades (earth colours), while woodwork was almost invariably painted green or white. The colour of roofing materials should also be carefully considered as roofs tend traditionally to be dark in colour.” Thus the following colour styles will be permitted: - White or light pastel earth shades. - Woodwork to be left natural or painted white or green. 3

As to building decoration, the “Development Guidelines for Rural Areas and Farms” refers to “Quiet Architecture”. “A characteristic of Cape Dutch architecture is that they are ‘quiet’ background buildings rather than architectural statements. With any modern intervention or development architects are encouraged to design buildings with discretion and aim for a simple understated architecture rather than an elaborate architectural statement.” The concept is not to copy or indiscriminately use period decoration and detailing, as this “is a form of falsification that detracts from the original”. “The use of exaggerated over-scaled architectural elements should also be avoided. It is best to reinterpret historical detailing and decoration in an understated manner that is appropriate to the present.”

6. Dwelling Construction. Construction of dwellings must be in accordance with the Architectural Style, and with specific reference to the following conditions: a) Walls: Smooth or slightly rough (not “stippled”) plastered walls painted in accordance with the guidelines in ‘5’ above. Materials to be avoided include facebrick, textured concrete block, exposed aggregate concrete, unpainted prefabricated concrete, “Mediterranean” textured plaster. b) Roofs: Pitched and/or flats roofs are permitted. Pitched roofs at 30-35º using galvanised Victoria profile sheeting painted black or dark red. Flat roofs must be 35º. Fascias and gutters are to match the roofs, doors, and windows. Solar panels flush with the roof will be permitted. c) Windows: All windows are to be of wood or anodised (not clear) aluminium and must preferably be sash windows. If sash windows are not used then the basic proportions must be that of sash windows.


d) Pergolas: Uncovered pergolas attached to the house and matching the main structure are encouraged. e) Garages: Each house may have a 2-car garage or 1-car garage and 1-on site parking, either attached or detached from the house structure. Garages and garage doors (which can be wooden or steel) must be painted in accordance with these guidelines. f) Driveways: All driveways are to be gravel, clay pavers or cement cobbles. Cement pavers may not be used. 7. Building Height. With reference to the Site Development Plan, houses situated on erven bordering Raithby and in the interior of the development may be double story (Erven 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345). Houses situated on erven bordering the rural areas may only be single storey (Erven 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339). 8. External Lighting. Exterior lighting must be implemented in a sensitive manner to preserve the rural quality of the development. Any lighting for security purposes must be shielded so as not to spill over onto neighbouring properties. 9. Boundary Fences

Boundary treatment is of particular importance due to the location of the site. This relates to the boundary of the entire site as well as to the boundaries between erven and the house/street boundaries. With respect to boundary fences and walls, the guidelines contained in the “Development Guidelines for Rural Areas and Farms” have been closely followed. These guidelines include the following features which are appropriate for the purposes of the Architectural Guidelines: •

A whitewashed “werf’ wall or low white wall.


Dark black/green palisade fences without posts.

Mesh fences over which vegetation can grow. 5

Specifically, the following boundary walls and fences will be permitted: a. External fence on estate Boundaries either: •

Dark black or green mesh fences of 2.1m high over which vegetation can grow. Round wooden poles for support. The fence can support a hedge.

Dark black or green palisade fences of 2.1m without posts over which vegetation can grow.

Peers and palisade fencing of 2.1m high.

b. Internal Street Boundaries: Low wall of max 600mm high, plastered and painted white. Alternatively, round wooden pole fence to a maximum of 1.8m high with horizontal dividing wooden beams, which may have wire mesh infill, over which vegetation can grow. c. Boundary wall between properties: Dark black or green palisade fences of 1.8m without posts over which vegetation can grow or mesh fences of 2.1m high with round wooden poles for support over which vegetation can grow. e. Privacy, courtyard, and pool fences: Round wooden pole fence of 1.8m high, over which vegetation can grow. Pool fence not visible to neighbouring properties (i.e. not for privacy) may be of a different construction, but must comply with National Building Regulations. 12. Landscaping The guiding principle for landscaping is to “soften” the divide between the urban and the rural areas, and to create a rural feel for the development. Buildings should be made less visible from the surrounding roads by vegetation. All gardens within residential erven must conform to this principle.

Annexures: 1. Site Development Plan. 2. Type House Plans 1 and 2 as examples.


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