The new chapel, set within a vineyard in South Africa, is designed by South-African born Coetzee Steyn of London based Steyn Studio.
The site is surrounded by majestic mountains with a grand scale which adorned the area with the nickname of ‘Little Switzerland’. Typically Cape Dutch Manor houses set up dialogue with these types of environments, as found in Stellebosch and Cape Town. With the immediate context of the site, the valley is ‘held’ either side with two mountain ranges which sets up a spatial dialogue at a grand scale which occurs on a ‘micro’ level between the Manor House development node and the Chapel development node; across the vineyards and gardens. Drawing poetic inspiration from Psalm 36:7, the crisp white form is conceived as a lightweight, and dynamic structure which appears to float within the valley. A reflective pond emphasises the apparent weightlessness of the structure. Elevated upon a plinth, the chapel rises from the flat land its sits upon, providing a hierarchical focal point within its surroundings. New planting including a vineyard and pomegranate orchard create a lush green oasis on the otherwise exposed site.
Architects: Steyn Studio / Photographs: Adam Letch