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Gowrie Farm Architectural Building Guidelines
1. Background to the code

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The houses of Gowrie Farm have drawn their inspiration from the old farmhouses of the Midlands of KwaZulu - Natal. Initially the architecture of Kwa Zulu Natal had influences from the Cape. Later, a regional vernacular developed in response to the climate and landscape.

The original farmhouses were simple, often a rectangular house of a few rooms. They were then added to, and the rooms record the growth with the bell cast profile being prevalent, and the main roof steeper than the lean-to verandah roofs.

The overriding character of the farmhouses of the Midlands is roof architecture, with sheltered walls and their openings playing a subservient physical and visual role. This kind of architecture is sensible in climatic terms in the way it affords protection from sun, wind and rain. The majority of the farm houses were single storey. A few used the roof space for bedrooms and storage, getting light through dormer windows, but the houses generally remained single storey in nature. The lettered layout, so prevalent in the Cape, comes through strongly in the architecture of the Midlands as well.

The properties at Gowrie Farm are large. In designing these houses, the most important considerations should be to ensure that there is protection from the wind, warmth and light from the sun. Views are important, but it is also important to consider the views of other owners when designing. Designs must ensure that they are sensitive to the surrounding landscape.

2. Form

The houses must have a primary or core space, with secondary lean-to spaces. The houses are to conform to the "Letters of the Alphabet architecture", or variations of this. Alternatively, they may be fragmented.

Fragmentation will in fact be encouraged. No monolithic structures as determined by the Review Committee will be allowed.

The primary spaces may not exceed 6.2 metres in width, and the minimum width of the secondary spaces is 4 metres. The width is to be measured to the exterior of the buildings. The width of the lean-to secondary spaces must always be in proportion to the main primary spaces. Gracious verandahs are encouraged, with a minimum width of 2.4 metres.

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3. Height
In the case of all buildings, the wall plate height shall be measured from finished floor level. In single-storey houses, the wall plate may not be lower than 3 metres. In the case of houses with lofts, the maximum wall plate height shall be 4.2 metres high and the minimum wall plate height shall be 3 metres.



The following houses shall be entitled to build single-storey with lofts. The remaining houses shall all be single-storey:

Table reflecting houses which may include lofts

Old ERF No. New ERF No.
7 266
31 235
32 236
45 267
56 256
57 257
58 258
59 259
63 – 91 268 – 296
95 - 122 300 – 325 & 327


4. Coverage
The coverage of buildings on any of the properties at Gowrie Farm shall not exceed 30% of the total area of the property. The total area of the buildings on any of the residential portions shall not exceed 40% of the area of the portion. This means that with those sites being 1 600m², the maximum coverage is 480m² and the maximum floor area is 640m². In calculating the coverage verandahs, outbuildings and garages are included. All houses must have a minimum of 50m² of verandahs. The maximum loft space is accordingly 160m².

5. Placement
Buildings must be placed on the property inside the building lines. In the case of all properties, there is a 5 metre no-building line on all four boundaries. The Gowrie Farm Review Committee has the power to relax the building lines if such relaxation, in their opinion, will unduly prejudice neighbouring properties or properties in the surrounding areas.

In any decisions relating to the placement of the house on the property and the approval, the Review Committee's decision shall be final and binding upon the owner.

No relaxation shall be given on the boundaries closest to the road access.

In the case of the following properties, the boundaries referred to below have been relaxed:

Table reflecting relaxation of building lines

OLD ERF No. NEW ERF No. BOUNDARY RELAXATION
1 – 6 206 – 211 No relaxation
7    
8 – 16 212 – 219, & 222 The southern "no-build to" line has been relaxed to 2 metres. Erven 8 and 11 - relaxation may be granted on the western boundaries. Erven 10 and 16 - relaxation may be granted on the western boundaries.
17 – 23 238, 220, 221, 223 – 226 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erven 17, 18, 20 and 21 - relaxation may be granted on the eastern boundaries. Erven 17, 19 and 23 - relaxation may be granted on the western boundaries.
24 – 33 227 – 233, 235 - 237 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erven 24, 25 and 33 - relaxation may be granted on the eastern boundaries. Erven 24, 25 and 26 – relaxation may be granted on the western boundaries.
31 & 32 235 & 236 Relaxation may be granted on the front, eastern and western boundaries.
33 & 34 237 & 234 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries.
35 – 41 240 – 246 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erven 35 and 37 – relaxation may be granted on the northern boundaries. Erf 41 – relaxation may be granted on the eastern and western boundaries.
42 – 45 263 – 267 No relaxation may be granted.
46 – 54 247 – 255 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erf 46 – relaxation may be granted on the southern boundary. Erf 54 – relaxation may be granted on the northern boundary.
55 239    
56 – 59 256 - 259 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erf 56 – relaxation may be granted on the northern boundary. Erf 59 – relaxation may be granted on the southern boundary.
60 – 62 260 – 262 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erf 60 – relaxation may be granted on the northern and southern boundaries.
63 – 67 268 - 272 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erf 63 – relaxation may be granted on the southern boundary. Erf 67 – relaxation may be granted on the eastern boundary.
68 – 71 273 – 276 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erf 68 – relaxation may be granted on the south eastern boundary. Erf 71 – relaxation may be granted on the north western boundary.
72 277 Relaxation may be granted on all boundaries.
73 278  
74 – 94 279 – 299 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries.
95 – 118 300 – 321, 323, 324 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries.
119 – 122 325, 327, 322, 326 Relaxation may be granted on all boundaries.
123 – 125 328 - 330 Relaxation may be granted on the front boundaries. Erf 123 – relaxation may be granted on the eastern boundary. Erf 125 – relaxation may be granted on the western boundary.
126 - 129    


Any person wanting a relaxation must apply to the Gowrie Farm Review Committee for such relaxation, failing which, the standard "no-build to" lines shall apply.

6. Walls

6.1 External walls:
External walls shall be plastered, bag-washed or built of natural stone. In the case of special incidents such as chimneys or plinths, stipple plaster or tyrolean finish may be used to enhance the proportions and definition of the elements and houses.

6.2 Garden walls:
Garden walls may be plastered, bag-washed or made of natural stone. They shall be a minimum width of 225 mm with horizontal copings.

6.3 Retaining walls:
Retaining walls shall be plastered, bag-washed or built of natural stone. No loffelstein retaining walls may be used.

6.4 Boundary walls and fences:
Boundary fences shall be wire bonnix, four strand or five strand fences if the owner has no dogs. Fencing is discouraged. Where possible, it is suggested that no fencing be used. Gardens will then connect to the open spaces around them. In special instances, when it is incorporated into the design of the house, werf-like boundary walls may be used to define private spaces.

7. ROOFS

7.1 Materials:
Roofs shall be painted corrugated iron or chromodeck in the Victorian profile. With the consent of the Review Committee, clip lock sheeting or brown built sheeting may be used where appropriate.

7.2 Colour:
Roofs shall be dark dolphin or grey in a colour approved by the Review Committee.

7.3 Flat Roofs:
Flat roofs may be used to link buildings where houses are fragmented. Flat roofs may also be used where they are appropriate for the architectural style of the house, but consent of the Review Committee is required.

7.4 Roof Form and pitch
Primary roofs shall be symmetrically gabled or hipped, with a slope of between 35º and 45º. Secondary lean-to's shall have a slope of between 10º and 18º.

7.5 Eaves
Eaves shall be clipped or shall have detailed overhangs. In the event of there being overhangs, they must be exposed rafters. Details of the overhangs must be submitted to the Review Committee with the submission of plans. The Review Committee has the power to vary the code here, subject to detailed drawings being submitted.

8. Paint colours
The selection of colour's at Gowrie Farm have now been finalised. There are a choice of four colours and these are:

1. Plascon Caramel Sands, which is the colour that the clubhouse is painted;

2. An Earthcote colour referred to as Highveld Frost (the Old Tom Morris Cottage on the 6th hole has been painted this colour);

3. Earthcote colour called Gravel, in the Sand range;

4. Earthcote colour called Wynkop, also in the Sand range.

We are having these colours matched, and will have a Gowrie colour range produced by Plascon and/or Dekade Paints, and will get details to you in the near future.

We also ask that when trim colours are chosen, that we tend to go to the darker colours, rather than the whites and lighter colours. This will help blend the house into the background, whereas white trimmings tend to stand out, which will certainly detract from the vision of Gowrie, which is to have the homes sit comfortably in the grasslands.

9. Gutters and down-pipeS
Gutters and down-pipes, when used, shall be made of galvanised iron or aluminium. Only Ogee or Marley streamline gutters and down-pipes may be used. Down-pipes shall be in a colour the same as the wall to which it is fixed, or alternatively a dark colour approved by the Review Committee. Gutters shall be white or a colour to match the roof.

10. Fascias and barge boards
Barge boards shall be aluminium or iron, and must be carefully detailed so as to enhance the gable ends of the buildings. NO ASBESTOS BARGE BOARDS ARE PERMITTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Fascias may be asbestos or timber, and must be done in such a manner so as to ensure that they comply with the approved eaves details.

11. Dormers
Dormers, where allowed, shall be habitable, placed not closer than 1 metre from a side wall, and have a gable with a slope to match the principal structure. Dormers must be well proportioned with the scale in keeping with the roof.

12. Skylights
Skylights may be used but shall be flat and shall be placed so as to not be easily visible from the common areas. They shall be painted to match the colour of the roof.

13. Windows
Windows shall be made of wood, powder coated aluminium or U-PVC, and shall be glazed with clear glass or frosted glass in the case of bathrooms. Sand-blasted windows are permitted in the case of front doors. In the case of aluminium or U-PVC windows, the diameter sections are to have a minimum profile of not less than 50 mm.
Windows shall be rectangular, vertically proportioned and operable or alternatively, in instances where horizontal windows are complimentary to the architectural style of the house, then such windows must be specifically approved by the Review Committee.
It is encouraged that window proportions should not be less than 1:1,37. It is pointed out that the most common proportions in the old traditional farmhouses were 1:1,7 or 1:2. All openings must be carefully proportioned. Where appropriate clerestory/ventilator windows may be used.
The Review Committee places extreme importance on the proportions of windows and has the right to reject any proportions and placements of windows and shall scrutinise all openings with the utmost care.

14. Shutters
Shutters may be timber or powder coated aluminium, but must be operable, sized and shaped to match the opening.

15. External doors
External doors shall be timber and shall be painted or varnished with a natural varnish. External aluminium doors shall have members with a minimum dimension of 50 mm, and sliding folding doors may only be used when opening on to a verandah. Windows attached to any external doors may not be used without the specific approval from the Review Committee. Security doors and burglar bars are discouraged, but may be allowed, subject to the condition that they are approved by the Review Committee.

16. Verandahs and stoeps
Verandahs and stoeps are elements that are found on all the traditional Midlands farmhouses. Houses should have generous stoeps or verandahs.
The widths of verandahs must be in proportion to the primary spaces.
Verandah columns may be square or cylindrical. They may be timber, concrete or plastered masonry. Timber posts must not be less than 100mm x 100mm. In the case of plastered columns, the finished dimensions may not be less than 360mm x 360mm, and APPROPRIATE BASES are to be provided.
If pre-cast columns are to be used, only traditional style columns may be used. The shaft of the column must be tapered and have a smooth finish.
No "broekie lace" is permitted.

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17. Garages
Not more than one double garage may be built. If more than two garages are required then the third or additional garages must be built as a separate building. The "suburban" style garages of 6m x 6m are not acceptable, and all garages must be designed in such a manner as to have a rural or barn-like feel to them. Garages that take on the proportions of a barn or similar structure are encouraged.

18. Variances
In designing houses, variances to the code are allowed, on the basis of architectural merit. The Review Committee's decision shall be final and binding in the case of architectural merit. The Review Committee also has the right to refuse any house which they feel is not appropriate, despite the design complying with the terms and conditions of these guidelines.

19. Electricity
The articulation system of Gowrie Farm is 3-phase thus it must be ensured that the distribution boards are set up to take 3-phase.

Notes :
  1. For Survey and Topographical Diagrams, owners may contact Ant Haines of Haines and Jefferys. Tel: 033-342 8658 / 082 3386 500.
  2. Only architects approved by the Review Committee may design houses at Gowrie Farm. The present panel comprises the following architects:

    ARCHITECT CONTACT No. E-MAIL ADDRESS
    Durban
    Sally Adams 031-205 1902 tomkin@intekom.co.za
    Andrew Makin 031-303 5191 andrew@designworkshop.co.za
    Dean Jay 031-303 1214 dbjay@deanjayarchitects.co.za
    Pietermaritzburg
    Jane McDonald 033-3431189 sedgley@futurenet.co.za
    Nick Grice 033-394 1785 nick@gsp.co.za
    Paul Rust 086-5249316 paulrust@lantic.net
    Mike Birss 033-345 6015 birss@iafrica.com
    Johannesburg
    Urban Solutions 011-833 7622 Paul@urbansolutions.co.za
    Karen Wygers 083-6037650 karen@bishopskop.co.za
    Karen Mailer 011-646 2537 karenmailer@wbs.co.za
  3. Information on services may be obtained from the consulting engineers, Sukuma Consulting Engineers. Telephone number: (033) 345 3284 - Contact: Allison Maud.
 
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