Rooderandt is the love child (born within wedlock, though!) of
playwright and vernacular architecture aficionado Pieter Fourie and his wife Maletta.
Pieter has admired vernacular architecture all his life. As far back as the
late eighties, he lovingly restored the Sandveld farmstead Kapteinskloof,
situated between Piketberg and Velddrif.
In Maletta, a designer and painter whom he married in 1995, he found a kindred
spirit. They acquired Rooderandt in 1997 with two workers´ cottages being
the only improvements to the property. Together Pieter and Maletta restored
Mieta se huisie, and in 1999 they had the manor built in the Karoo style.
The heavy poplar roof supports and the AGA stove in the kitchen had to be
lowered into the house with a mobile crane. Pieter and Maletta mostly used
material from the surrounding area, or carted it in from other areas in the
Karoo where necessary.
For example, the stone top on which the breakfast buffet is displayed,
comes from a riverbed near Laingsburg.
Inside Pieter and Maletta decorated the house with antiques
they had collected over many years. The bottom part of the front door,
for example, Pieter acquired in the late seventies when he visited Cape
Governor Simon van der Stel´s hunting lodge, and noticed that the original
door had been removed during restoration, and was lying in the veld nearby.
The last addition to Rooderandt was Pieter se skryfhuisie (Pieter´s writing cottage).
Maletta and Wiele, the trusted farmhand and son of Mieta after whom Mieta se huisie
was named, built this cottage with its glass bottle windows as a surprise for Pieter,
when the latter was on an extended business trip to Gauteng.
Rooderandt is not only a living monument to the creativity of two special people,
but the unique impression it leaves, emphasises the truth of business mogul Anton
Rupert´s statement about conservation: "Historical buildings... prove... that we
have been here for a long time and that we belong here. By retaining the treasures
of our past, we prevent the world around us from looking uniform and boring."
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