Cape Dutch Revival – Assoc Prof Nic Coetzer on YouTube

Cape Dutch Revival – Assoc Prof Nic Coetzer on YouTube

Arts & Crafts architecture in South Africa, especially the Cape Dutch revival, gave a common heritage for English and Afrikaans speaking South Africans. This was especially important for the Union in 1910 and the British Empire. The Cape Dutch gable, in particular, gave identity and legitimacy. This talk spans familiar names and buildings, to fascinating (and sometimes surprising) facts and insights.

Click here to watch Assoc Prof Nic Coetzer’s talk for Culture Connect on Wed 26 May 2021 on our YouTube Channel.

Images span UK empire exhibitions to homesteads in the Western Cape, such as Groote Schuur, Groot Constantia, Lutheran Parsonage, Meerlust, Koopmans-de-Wet, Lourensford, Boschendal and Stellandal. Architects include Edwin Lutyens, Herbert Baker, Francis Masey, Franklin Kendall, James Morris, Douglas Mackeurtan and Rex Martienssen (who became one of South Africa’s most venerated modernist architects).

Nic is an Associate Professor at UCT. After his MArch at University of Colorado and working as an architect in Denver, Nic moved to London and did his doctorate the Bartlett School. His thesis was titled: The Production of the City as a White Space: Representing and Restructuring Identity and Architecture, Cape Town, 1892-1936. He wrote chapters in 10+ Years 100+ Buildings, Architecture in a democratic South Africa and Material Matters. Architecture and Material Practice. His book, Building Apartheid On Architecture and Order in Imperial Cape Town available in paperback, hardback and eBook, published by Routledge. Nic’s teaching focuses on undergrad design, and history and theory of architecture. He also practices as an architect, “small-scale interventions”.

This talk is based on one Nic gave to the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa for his Cape Town book launch at Clarke’s Bookshop in 2013.

Architects, South African registered, can get 0.1 CPD points (if you didn’t attend the live session, let me know if you want the questions to check you watched it)

If you are interested in South African history, monuments and heritage you’ll enjoy this.

Images: Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, 1938, South Africa Pavilion | South Africa “House”, Trafalgar Square, London (detail Sir Charles Wheeler’s Springbok) | From “Eighteenth century architecture in South Africa” by Geoffrey Eastcott Pearse (image from Approach Guides)  | Vergelegen | Groote Schuur (sources Pinterest, Wiki, UCT,, Vergelegen and Google Images)