Landmark House

The famous Bruynzeel House in Stellenbosch

Deutsche Version Deutsch   Aart Bijl   About the background to the Bruynzeel House project   Building material   Situation   Huis Bruynzeel is 50 jaar oud, en mooier as ooit   More photos and amazing virtual tour   Our garden   Map

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A work of art - click to enlarge and see more photosWhen in 1973 Kees Bruynzeel won the Cape Town to Rio yacht race we read about it in the yachting magazines. At the time we lived aboard our own yacht in the Caribbean. Little did we suspect that eight years later we would buy his spectacular house in South Africa.
The Dutch wood merchant Kees Bruynzeel was not only a lover of wood, but also of the sea and sailing ships. With this house he created a monument to sailing.
The house is a design by the architect Aart Bijl and has been shown in several publications - a true work of art.

The hyperbolic paraboloid of the roof calls to mind an enormous sun sail on a yacht, which seems to float in the air. It is lined with precious yellow wood. The roof never touches the walls directly but rests on windows.

The East Facing Front of the House overlooks the inner garden.
Diese Seite zeigt nach Osten und überblickt den inneren Garten. See More photos
Early morning sun brightens the yellow-wood ceilingEarly morning sun brightens the yellow-wood ceiling
Early morning sun shows off the beautiful yellow wood paneling of the ceiling.
Am frühen Morgen erleuchtet die Sonne die herrliche Gelbholzdecke.
Teak, glass and an extra slim face brick that was custom made for this house.
Der Zierbaustein ist schmaler als üblich und wurde speziell für diesen Bau angefertigt.
Salon at ChristmasThe magnificent ceiling spans the upper part of the house.
On the right you can see part of the face brick fireplace which separates the little study from the living room.
Rechts sieht man teilweise den Kamin, der den Salon vom Arbeitszimmer trennt.
This elegant book shelf divides the living room from the generous staircase.
Dieses elegante Regal trennt den Salon vom Treppenhaus.
The beautiful ceiling spans freely the upper rooms of the house. Except for the enclosed kitchen and the cloak room they are separated by elegant room dividers .
Die geschwungene Decke überspannt das obere Stockwerk.

High roof - high situation

Salon hoogste hoek - 6m highWindow Queen at workWindow Queen at work
In this corner the ceiling is 6 m
above the floor of the living room.
Hier ist die Decke 6 m hoch.
Window cleaners dwarfed
by the large window front
Die Fensterputzer wirken klein
gegen diese Fenster!

The bedroom door opens into the inner garden. The stairs lead to the staircase and the library.
Das Schlafzimmer führt direkt in den Garten, ebenso die Stufen vor der Bibliothek im Zwischengeschoß.

View of Table Mountainview from the road
Situation, situation, situation!
Click photo to see the view from our balcony
Die Lage und Aussicht sind einzigartig (Photo anklicken)
View from the road. The wooden wall shelters the house from the hot midday sun, the large overhangs of the roof keep the house cool in summer.
Ansicht des Hauses von der Straße aus.
Es ist gegen die heiße Mittagssonne geschützt.

Called by its builder Kees Bruynzeel De Hoge Hoek*
the house is placed high up on a north facing slope of Stellenboschberg and has superb views on the town and mountains (including Table Mountain)!
(*the high peak - this name alludes both to the lofty situation of the house and the peak of its unusual roof).


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Welgelegen is a sought after quiet neighborhood with larger plots than in other areas of the town.
Constantia Avenue is a circular road - no through traffic- around a small park with many proteas and indigenous trees. Walk to center of town and to schools in 10 minutes. The area is sheltered from the strong summer winds.
Actually this is Stellenbosch best area, save, with fantastic views, sheltered from the South Eastern winds - and quiet: all you hear are the birds. This is paradise compared to the other most coveted area in Stellenbosch by the river, where gardens and sometimes houses are inundated in the rainy season and which is exposed to the fierce summer winds, funneled by the narrow passage of Jonkershoek valley.

The materials used for the construction of this building are of unsurpassed quality:
Teak, yellow wood, copper, glass and a slim face brick that was commissioned and specially made for this house.
The quality of workmanship is equally stunning. The face brick walls were built with a slight slope of 3 degrees, which is a costly procedure but so much more elegant. The bedrooms have moulded plaster ceilings.
Throughout the house one finds features that are admired by every architect. The construction of this jewel cost ten times more than that of an average house.

Sculpture of a horse

Some remarkable pieces of art:


  • A ceramic sculpture built into the wall of the staircase: horse, 120cm long
  • A large glass window in the study, carved with acid and sand-blasted, depicts a sailing yacht at high seas under a high sky.

    The beautiful wildflower garden with mainly indigenous trees attracts lots of birds. We counted 124 different species of birds here!

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    Click for enlargements
    click for new photosLandmark HouseThe Bruynzeel House is a modern work of artnight front
    New photosPainting by Hérine FouriePhoto by Willem MalherbeDeon de Villiers' photos

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    About Kees Bruynzeel

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