BOSJES Farm in South Africa has announced that Square One Landscape Architects has been awarded the prestigious ILASA President’s Award for their exceptional work on the property, a landmark destination located in the Breede River Valley in the Western Cape. The coveted accolade – recognised as the highest accolade in landscape architecture in South Africa – was presented for the “most outstanding and excellent projects submitted in any category” at an event held in Pretoria on 22 September 2022. Square One Landscape Architects (with roots in South Africa and teams in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Milan, Lisbon and Sydney) also took first place in the Planning and Design category.
ILASA, the Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa, exists to advance the skill of landscape architecture, specifically the role this profession plays within South African environments, both built and natural.
Says Carlen Vorster, CEO of BOSJES Hospitality, “We are all so thrilled that BOSJES, together with all those who worked to create the incredible environments across our farm, has been given this distinguished ILASA award – and we congratulate the collaborative teams of Square One Landscape Architects, Meyer & Associates and the London-based Steyn Studio on this outstanding achievement.”
The landscaped gardens at BOSJES are spread across three sloping terraces, connected by a curving pathway that provides universal access while creating a visual link between the woodland landscape, forested play areas, spacious lawns and a conservation garden planted with endangered renosterveld.
The concept for the gardens was around incorporating ecology into the cultural landscape and making that accessible and enjoyable to all. A series of water furrows and channels speak to the ingenuity of generations of farmers, and fragrant citrus groves in front of the Winkel farm shop and the Spens garden café are a reminder of the region’s rich agricultural tradition.
Play areas reference South Africa’s traditional farm dams and reservoirs with innovative equipment, children’s sandpits, splash-pads, a mini zip line and a clamber frame at the end of a treetop walkway – the Boombrug – which offers visitors stunning views across the Breedekloof. The woodland groves beneath the bridge merges subtly into beds planted with a wide array of indigenous grasses, succulents and bulbs, carefully chosen to ensure a planting palette of seasonal interest that celebrates the colourful diversity of Cape flora.
Of the Spens and the Winkel, lead architect Coetzee Steyn says, “the two carefully burrowed buildings, drawing inspiration from the ways of the San as well as the early Dutch settlers who first inhabited the valley, are all in keeping with BOSJES’ design philosophy.” Here, the built and natural environment merge effortlessly, with the curved trellises of oak – a subtle reference to traditional cattle kraals – serving as a visual focus that twists and guides visitors inward. Over time, these extensive trellises will be further integrated into the garden, with more than a dozen species of climbing plants – from bougainvillea to honeysuckle, star jasmine to wisteria – adding seasonal colour, texture and aroma to these striking architectural creations. It is a perfect blend of culture and tradition, natural beauty and inspired design.
Mark Saint Põl from Square One Landscape Architects comments, “Our design approach for this iconic property was to work ecology into a cultural landscape. Our work at BOSJES shows what is possible when a visionary client teams up with inspired architects, engineers, ecologists and landscape architects to create a captivating place that brings people together while simultaneously reinforcing the link between nature and the cultural environment.”
BOSJES Farm has evolved into a major regional destination that sets the benchmark for the future and for agritourism in the Breedekloof.
BOSJES Farm is open to day visitors from Wednesdays to Sundays from 08h30 to 17h00. The recently opened Herehuis offers country chic accommodation and makes for a blissful farm stay. For more information, visit www.bosjes.co.za and follow the daily happenings at BOSJES via @bosjes_farm on Instagram.