The house pictured above was a design we did in Charlotte, North Carolina about twenty years ago. These particular clients had no distinct look in mind for their new home. Meanwhile, we had become increasingly interested in introducing the provincial Cape Dutch dialect into our architectural speech. We showed these clients some examples of Cape Dutch houses and they were immediately drawn to it. This was not surprising. I’ve always found it a friendly, approachable style. The whimsical baroque gables, bathed in white icing, and miniature dark windows with animated shutters, all result in a romantically convivial facade. Bobby jokes that Cape Dutch homes look to him like sweet, newborn chicks with oversize heads and wee dark eyes.
Most of our more recent attempts at speaking this language have been in Southern coastal areas. Since its birthplace is South Africa, it’s a seemingly natural fit for sun-drenched settings. So, if you’re altogether unfamiliar with this bucolic style, give it a look. It’s a veritable Dutch treat.
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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