The client’s brief was to recognize the natural setting on rising land with the backdrop of the Helderberg mountains and distant views of Table Mountain, to integrate the existing vineyards with the new equestrian training facilities, to encourage biodiversity and to establish an indigenous fynbos setting.
The visibility of the paddocks and training facility from the arterial road were seen to be important for commercial reasons.
Together with the architects, OvP developed the site plan, heralding entrance to the farm with an eye catching gateway, flanked by formal row planting of lavender and olive trees with immediate reference to adjoining orchard row planting.
The access driveway through the estate passes the paddocks and is flanked with trees and a stormwater bio-swale and retention pond with associated fynbos planting. The training facility, set deep into the site forms a backdrop to this pastoral scene.
The state of the art training facility and outdoor arena, cut slightly into the rising ground are integrated into the site by means of a series of place making elements, including forecourt and side spaces with subtle changes of level and horizontal planes with trees, space defining walls and formal planting beds. The design intent is of calmness, minimalism and restraint.
The peripheral planting consists of indigenous fynbos, some of which has been harvested from the existing endemic species pool on site and incorporated into the hydro-seeding of new areas. Formal areas closer to the buildings, for visual effect, consist of carefully selected mixed planting groups, coordinated for colour, texture and variety, providing seasonal year round interest. An indigenous garden links the training facility to the dam and this area now abounds with a diversity of wild flowers attracting various wildlife including guinea fowl, chameleon, waterfowl, butterflies and steenbok.