Coordinated by Dr André van Graan, restoration architect

Monday 22–Wednesday 24 January 7.00 pm COURSE FEES R330; Staff and students R165

The Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa was inaugurated at the UCT Summer School of 1964. The series of lectures at that time drew attention to this valuable component of our architectural heritage which was threatened through neglect and lack of appreciation. Sixty years later, we look at the condition and significance of vernacular architecture in the twenty-first century to see how it has adapted to change. The concept of the vernacular has expanded to consider cultural practice and traditions such as cooking and the importance of intangible heritage as reflected in oral histories collected from the people who live in a vernacular context.

The first lecture looks at how the relevance of the vernacular relies on the adaptability of the building typology to changing conditions. The next lecture addresses the adaptation of the hearth of the vernacular corbelled buildings of the Great Karoo and what this tells us about changing lifestyles. Finally, the role of oral histories in understanding the vernacular landscape of the Cape is looked at.

Lecture titles

1. Vernacular architecture in the twenty-first century: adapting to       change through reuse  Dr André van Graan

2. Kookskerm to kombuis Patricia Kramer

3. Voices of the past Dr Antonia Malan

Recommended reading

Malan, A. 2014. A background to VASSA. VASSA Journal.

Walton, J. 1965. Homesteads and Villages of Southern Africa. Pretoria: Van Schaik. Walton, J. 1995. Cape Cottages. Cape Town: Intaka.