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House Sir David Graaff - Zonnekus
Milnerton, Cape Town, Western Cape

Lancelot Andrew ELSWORTH: Design architect

Style:Spanish Colonial - Spanish Mission - Californian Style


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33°53'05.73" S 18°29'09.45" E Alt: 6m

(SAB Jan 1930:37; FRIBA nom papers 1945)

Cumming-George 1933

THIS residence, which was built for Lady Graaff and is now occupied by the High Commissioner, is situated at Milnerton on the sea front and covers a considerable area.

The house is approached along a motor drive to the entrance door, the main feature of which is the fine porté couché [sic porte-cochère] with the sun balcony above, which balcony is fitted with sliding windows.

The style is Spanish Mission, and shows the twisted chimneys and walls finished in rough plaster. The small octagonal tower on the roof masks the water tank. Salt water for sea baths is also supplied to the house and heated by means of electric motor.

A very large portion of the plan is devoted to service and servants' quarters. There is an additional staircase in the servants' wing and one also to the basement, where the central heating chamber is situated. There is a fine servants' dining hall situated in the enclosed yard which links the house with the double garage, over -which are chauffeurs' quarters. In this portion of the plan there is- also a self-contained and fully equipped laundry.

The house is entered through a wide vaulted corridor 8 ft (2.4m). in width. Off this are the drawing room, dining room, library, cloak room, and staircase. Both drawing room and dining room are " L " shaped and open to the multi-vaulted loggia which fronts the octagonal garden. The staircase is very unusual with heads and risers in hand-made tiles, with wrought iron baluster.

Upstairs are three bedroom suites each with own bathroom, a day and night nursery and the big sun balcony. The bathroom of the main suite opens to this, also the other bedrooms.

See also Milnerton History.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 130-131