A glassy gathering

Hugh Fraser, that guy from Glass South Africa who gets to travel round the world looking at buildings, was in town last night for an architectural evening at the beachfront.

About 60 or so people arrived at the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club (otherwise known as “The building with the tiles” or “Koop’s building”) for sundowners overlooking the beach, followed by some high-speed slides. Hugh has developed a special manner of presentation which involves speeding through photos of buildings. The photos seem to be taken on continuous shutter release, and so it reads more like a film than a slideshow, accompanied by his provocative narrative. “He is wonderfully fun,” commented one viewer.

We were treated to a dynamic set of presentations; the first covered the latest in glass printing technology as well as innovative techniques in glass from around the world while the second was all about travelling and spectacular architecture.

I left with a refreshed and inspired perspective on glass, and a niggling feeling of wanderlust.

(Sigh! Thank goodness the weekend is upon us!)

Kevin Bingham (KZNIA Education Chair), Nina Saunders (KZNIA President), Hugh Fraser (Glass South Africa), Angela Forbes and Trish Emmett (UIA).



It was an early start for a Saturday but a beautiful drive, and we were greeted by balmy sunshine and rolling grasslands out in the reserve. The weather was perfect: just hot enough to appreciate the cool of the buildings and spaces!

We started with a slide presentation in the main house, which Richard Stretton used to show the overall architectural strategy and context of the reserve, as well as the building progress over stages. We were then shown around the farm and various buildings.

What really became apparent to me on the tour was the level of involvement this project took: the leaders of the projects went way beyond the norm in their involvement, “making it happen” around very limited local materials, skills and machinery available. I loved the simple concept of the lucas mill out in the field being the dictator of the majority of the timber sizes (200mm) which in turn were employed in so many ways to achieve various architectural outcomes!

A lovely home-grown lunch of fresh pies, home-made bread, leafy salad and pickles followed, joined by chatter and the odd beer clink . After lunch people slowly dribbled off back to their cities. A great day out, and too short if anything!


This tour would not have been possible without the time and efforts of Richard Stretton and Angela Shaw of Koop, as well as the folks at Dalton Private Reserve, who allowed us to share in this inspiring place. For them the KZNIA is most grateful.

If you missed out on the tour, there will be an open day at the reserve in the near future, which will provide an opportunity to take a peek at this fantastic site too. Watch this space!

*more photos on our facebook page: click here *

Dalton Private Reserve

Inside the workshop

Dalton Private Reserve

Main house

Dalton Private Reserve

in the wood kiln

A peek into the kitchen cupboards


KOOP and supporters
Back row left to right: Sthembiso Dlamini, Emanuel Duma, Sara Bustin, Stefan Mostert, Cecil Khumalo, Lydia Muhl, Hugh Fraser, Janina Masojada. Front row left to right: Margret Stretton, Angela Shaw, Richard Stretton

Richard and his team arrived on Thursday morning with a pile of planks and some tools. Gradually the framework of verticals, simply but subtly hung from the picture rails, grew to support a ribbon of horizontals, on which the custom-cut and branded project panels were suspended. Just as their architecture is a considered exercise in simplicity and detail, so was their exhibition fit-out!

The opening itself was festive: 160 Bulwer was packed as Nina Saunders welcomed the crowd, Janina Masojada introduced the retrospective, Richard Stretton thanked, and Hugh Fraser, backed by Smartglass, gave the command to enjoy!

* Showing till Jan 25th / weekdays 8-4 / closed from 16 Dec – 2nd Jan  *