The Mamre Revitalisation Project: #WDC385

Mamre, a Provincial Heritage Site

Local labour preserves the past while the environment is conserved & the community uplifted.

Mamre, a Provincial Heritage Site, has the potential to become one of Cape Town’s premier tourism destinations.

To realize this potential, this project will use local labour to preserve the past, conserve the environment, and uplift the community. It is a restoration of not only a village, but a cultural landscape. Mamre is a village largely unknown, even by Capetonians, although it is only 45 minutes drive from Cape Town.

Founded 200 years ago as a Moravian Mission Station, it is a very beautiful place, where Cape Dutch buildings, all whitewash and thatch, cluster around the old Church. Dr. Hans Fransen has written: ‘The entire complex can be regarded as among the most significant historical sites in the Western Cape.’ The buildings are neglected and dilapidated, the people of Mamre are poor, and this project aims to restore the community’s pride in their village, their heritage and their culture.

Design will be used mainly in refurbishing the interiors of the buildings, as the exteriors are protected, and are being very carefully restored.

Old techniques and skills are being passed down to a new generation of local artisans, who will be trained in thatching, and the making and use of sun dried bricks etc. They will then be equipped to be employed in restoration jobs elsewhere in the Cape. The interiors need skilful design to express the rural and historical ambience, while simultaneously reflecting contemporary innovation and creativity. A sculptural installation is being designed representing the elements of life at Mamre. It is hoped that this will spark debate and discussion on design in the community, and be a catalyst for the people’s own creativity.

Valuable contributions have been made by the Consulate of Germany, the Czech Republic, Cape Town City Council, the Department of Agriculture, the West Coast Biosphere, the Moravian Church and Heritage Western Cape.

CONTACT: T 021 433 2221  E beabarry@iafrica.com

via MapMyWay