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Designer Furniture: Cape Town


Louw Roets Designer Furniture Cape Town: Cape Dutch Architecture in Cape Town



Cape Dutch architecture is an iconic feature of the Cape Town architectural and cultural landscape. From the signifying architectural details to the historical background to contemporary designs, we explore all the striking and significant features interwoven into the white façade of Cape Dutch architecture. When in and around Cape Town, stop past our highlighted spaces to explore the history and beauty of Cape Dutch architecture. Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town upholds awe and respect for Cape Dutch architecture and reflects key design elements in the style of Louw Roets designer furniture.


Cape Dutch Architecture:


Cape Dutch architecture can be found dotted around prestigious locations around the Western Cape and the world. Simplicity, grandeur, history, and the contemporary are gently interwoven in the design and style of Cape Dutch architecture. We explore the iconic details of Cape Dutch architecture that you can explore in and around Cape Town.


Cape Dutch Architectural Features and Style:


Cape Dutch architecture has a distinctive style that is pure, elegant, and striking against the mountainous backdrop and rolling hills of vineyards in and around Cape Town. We examine the architectural features that are symbolic of Cape Dutch architecture.




The gable is a defining feature of Cape Dutch architecture. The gable, which is always positioned in the centre of the building above the front door, can feature either a window, a family coat of arms, a sculptural element, date of construction, or another historically meaningful embellishment. Although gables are not specific to Cape Dutch architecture and can be found in places such as Belgium or the Netherlands, the plastering of the gable is unique to Cape Dutch architecture. From the stoop of the Cape Dutch building, you can look up in awe at the architectural element of the gable.


The gable was initially incorporated in Cape Dutch architecture for practical purposes and was simple in design, but soon the gable became an architectural element for creative expression or demonstrating status. Whether simple or elaborate in design, the Cape Dutch gable is an architectural work of art. We have highlighted the three essential gable styles you will find in Cape Dutch architecture around Cape Town.


Holbol: The Holbol design is the earliest gable style and you will find this gable design on the oldest Cape Dutch buildings. Alternating concave and convex lines gently link and swoop in the understated Holbol gable design. Simple yet memorable, the Holbol design is an essential gable design to the early Cape Dutch architecture.


Baroque: Preceding the Holbol gable design was the embellished Baroque gable. The Baroque gable accentuates curved details, swirling plaster bands, and has decorative mouldings which encase the large gable. The Baroque gable retained an element of the simplicity of the Holbol gable thus ensuring the elegance of this gable style.



Neoclassical: From a shift in style arose the Neoclassical gable. The Neoclassical gable is detailed, ornamental, and flourishes sophistication and status. Pillars are positioned alongside the base of the gable and are topped with plastered urns, increasing the height and awe of the Neoclassical gable. The Neoclassical gable also brought in the addition of the centralised sash window that is still a prominent feature in modern Cape Dutch architecture.


Building Layout:


Cape Dutch architecture is typically located on large wine farms, set in front of towering mountains, and surrounded by sweeping views of the Western Cape countryside. The open space allowed for the Cape Dutch buildings to be expansive, yet as they were originally designed as country houses, they retained modesty in their architectural design. The building layout of a Cape Dutch building will typically be in a simple and linear I-, U-, H-, or T-shape.


Colour Scheme:


Cape Dutch architecture is synonymous with a soft white colour scheme. The external walls of Cape Dutch architecture are brushed with limewash which reflects both the light and the integrity of the masonry of the Cape Dutch building. The white façade of the Cape Dutch building glows boldly against the indigenous greens and rust browns of Cape Town’s landscape.


The white colour scheme arose out of necessity. Due to lack of access to usable stone, Cape Dutch builders were required to craft bricks from sourced materials. Minimal wood resources did not allow for the bricks to be fired and thus hardened sufficiently, therefore, limewash was used as a protective measure. The simple application of the gentle white limewash has allowed for early Cape Dutch buildings to still be a prominent feature of the Cape Town landscape today.


A contrasting colour in the traditional colour scheme of Cape Dutch architecture is olive green. The central and impressive front door would have been painted in this delectable green, further drawing attention to the centre of the building and the Cape Dutch gable. A decorative detail that can be found on Cape Dutch buildings are shutters, which too would have been painted in olive green.


Thatch Roof:


Cape Dutch architecture will characteristically incorporate a thick thatch roof that is pitched at a steep slope. The abundance of thatch made for a practical roof choice, alongside the additional cooling function which suits the hot climate of the Western Cape. The mottled grey of the thatch roof also provides an elegant contrast against the decorative style and glowing whiteness of the Cape Dutch gable.





Cape Dutch architecture arose in the 17th century when Dutch settlers transformed the Cape Town area into a Dutch colony. The architectural style stems from North-western European architectural design with key alterations that allowed for the blossoming of Cape Dutch architecture. While connected to a contemptuous past that is a myriad of cultural, social, and political injustices, Cape Dutch buildings are an essential architectural element to the history of Cape Town.


Modern Cape Dutch Architecture:


Cape Dutch architecture has evolved since the 17th century and continues to be insightful architecture in the modern Cape Town landscape. Modern Cape Dutch architecture involves hybrid gable designs, the buildings are often smaller in size, and the style is no longer constrained to the countryside, but the buildings still retain the integrity of the simple design, pure colour scheme, and thatch roofs that are quintessentially Cape Dutch architecture.


Modern Cape Dutch architecture is not only limited to in and around Cape Town. Across the Indian Ocean, you will find modern examples of Cape Dutch architecture in Australia and New Zealand. The continuous influence of Cape Dutch architecture demonstrates the established contemporary prestige of this Cape Town-esque architectural style.


Explore Cape Dutch Architecture:


We have highlighted five of the historical Cape Dutch buildings that you can visit in and around Cape Town.


1) Groot Constantia:




Groot Constantia wine estate, located in the picturesque Constantia Valley, is home to the Cape Dutch Manor House which is named Groot Constantia. The Cape Dutch Manor House was originally built in 1692 by Simon van der Stel, was destroyed by a fire in 1925, and then fully restored in 1926-27 by FK Kendall. Groot Constantia now serves as a museum where you can admire both the legacy of Groot Constantia and the Cape Dutch architecture, all while sipping on a glass of widely acclaimed Groot Constantia wine.


2) Boschendal Manor Home:


The past and present elegantly coalesce at Boschendal wine estate. The Boschendal Manor Home is a preserved piece of Cape Dutch architecture and elegantly displays the Neoclassical gable with centralised sash window. Built in 1812, the Boschendal Manor Home was declared a National Monument in 1976. The crisp air in the Boschendal Manor Home paired with a glass of chilled Boschendal white wine and views overlooking Franschhoek Wine Valley is a superb way to explore Cape Dutch architecture.


3) Vrede en Lust Cape Dutch House:


Vrede en Lust wine estate offers an experience of historical Cape Dutch architecture like no other. The Cape Dutch Manor House, built in 1688 by Jacques de Savoye and then restored after damages in 1920 by Norman Berold, has been converted into luxury accommodation at Vrede en Lust. Sleep beneath history while being surrounded by modern amenities in this stunning Cape Dutch architectural experience.


4) Meerlust Wine Estate:


Meerlust wine estate curates tradition and modernity into a beautiful blend of acclaimed wines, exceptional views, and history. The Meerlust Cape Dutch Manor House involves the early Holbol style gable with unique shell elements involved in the design to draw a connection between the Cape Dutch architecture and the ocean views of False Bay. As you walk up the oak tree-lined driveway, the historical Manor House will gleam as a treasure of Meerlust Wine Estate.


5) Vergenoed Cape Dutch Homestead:


Vergenoed wine estate, ideally position between Helderberg Mountains and False Bay, is prestigious for its exceptional wines and Cape Dutch Homestead National Monument. The longstanding history of winemaking and the building of the Cape Dutch Homestead in 1773 invites you to spend a long afternoon sipping and appreciating timelessness in the present. The graceful Cape Dutch Homestead with Baroque style gable is the historical jewel of Vergenoed.


About Louw Roets Designer Furniture Cape Town:


Cape Dutch architecture is an iconic feature of Cape Town that has shone throughout history and continues to glow in the contemporary. Louw Roets offers a range of designer furniture Cape Town that will be the elegant sparkle of modernity mixed with heritage in your home or business. Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town will be the balance of understated yet memorable design in your space, in the likeness of the balance of Cape


Dutch architecture in the cultural landscape of Cape Town.


The importance of simplicity and purity in Cape Dutch architecture is reflected in Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town. Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town is subtle, uncomplicated, and timeless in design. Comfort, practicality, and function guide the design style of Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town.


Early Cape Dutch architecture is comprised of organic and locally sourced materials which have retained their integrity to this day. Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town selects pure materials for the creation of every furniture piece. The materials are then honestly and respectfully celebrated, highlighting the wood, metal, glass, paper cord, or leather as integral to the style of the Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town.



Like the long-standing historical Cape Dutch architecture, Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town is built to last. Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town is manufactured slowly and in a boutique fashion. This enables our team of artisans to embellish time, care, and consideration into every Louw Roets designer furniture piece.


Whilst travelling between the various Cape Dutch buildings located in and around Cape Town, you are invited to stop past the Louw Roets designer furniture showroom. We are based in Somerset West and will gladly allow you to walk in amongst the various Louw Roets designer tables, chairs, lamps, and collectable pieces we have on show.


Explore the history and simple elegance of Cape Dutch architecture and Louw Roets designer furniture Cape Town when travelling around Cape Town.