The Rescue Restoration of The Historic Town Centre of Wupperthal

TV3 Architects and Town Planners (Pty) Ltd

On 30 December 2018, a fire swept through Wupperthal destroying more than 50 homes and much of the historic town centre. The town is especially well known for its architecture and particular settlement pattern and has been the focus of many architectural tours and student visits to study its special spatial qualities which draw tourists and scholars alike.

The rebuilding and restoration of the damaged central core or “werf” is considered to be an excellent example of restoration methodology with principles including the careful retention of as much original fabric as possible, the retention of newer layers of building where these had achieved significance in their own right, the limited removal of other additions only to those where it could be convincingly argued that their removal would benefit the sense of place by re-establishing stylistic consistency, the sourcing and use of materials compatible with the old, and the replacement of damaged elements with others that were not replicas, but which are distinguishable as contributing to the story and record of the buildings’ authenticity.

This acknowledgment must be shared with the team that worked on the project. Restoration is seldom the sole remit of the architect, especially where new interventions are limited, as in the case of Wupperthal. The team would include the heritage consultants, the project managers, the structural engineers, the building contractors, the heritage authorities and the owners, each of whom have contributed in their own way to the re-establishment of the whole. Wupperthal should be particularly grateful to those who donated to the relief of a community in distress, and especially to the Rupert Foundation who were the primary funders of the project.

Owner/User:Moravian Church in South Africa – Sidney Stadler, Godfrey Cunningham, Martin Abrahams, Jurrie van Rooy, Jasmin Redcliffe

Overall Management and Donor:“Die Rupert Historiese Huis Stigting”

Project Coordinator:Pieter Kotzé

Principal Agent:Goal Zero Consulting (Pty) Ltd – Chris Bornman

Project Architect:TV3 Architects and Town Planners – Edwin Swanepoel, Hendro Hugo, Jay-Dee le Roux

Architectural Heritage Consultant:Arcon – Graham Jacobs

Quantity Surveyor: De Leeuw Stellenbosch – Deon Potgieter, Francois Mentz, Johann Sherrer

Structural Engineers:Henry Fagan Consulting Engineers & Project Managers – Henry Fagan

Fire Engineer:Sparq Consulting – Ryan Budden

Archaeologist:ACO Associates – John Gribble

Health & Safety Agent:EHS Greenleaf – Henk Paxton

Principal Building Contractor:Boland Bouers – Kobus Smit, Ian Rabie, Ivan Plisic, Jacques Smith, Alecia le Roux

Sub-Contractors:Robbi Thatch Cape (Pty) Ltd -Rob Louw, Nava Kruger; Indolek Solutions (Pty) Ltd – Jan Du Toit, Adriaan de Wet; CT Solar & Plumbing – Cobus Thiart, Chris du Toit; LMS André Meiring

Fire System:Secure Fire Coastal – Riaan de Kock

Fire Detection:Vulcan Integrated Solutions – Gibran McWhite

Afrimat:Boshoff Muller

Burglar Bars: Extronics CC

Timber doors, windows, sills, lintols, etc: –Goosen Shopfitters

Toilet extraction:VS Refrigeration

Fire Service and Hydrants:Secure Fire

Fire and Water Reservoirs: –SBS Solutions

Penetration Sealing: Firewerx

Repair of Church’s Stained Glass: Live Light Stained Glass

Termite Control/treatment: Borer Beetle

Suppliers:Breathecoat – Breathable Paint, Lumber City – Clanwilliam ,Cape Lime– lime