Alphabet plans


There are three main types of Cape Dutch GROUND-PLAN, resembling a capital "T", a capital "H" on its side, and a capital "U" with right angle bends; all are single-storied. There are some hybrids, and there is also an uncommon rectangular type, double-storied.

The U-type is the type of the Peninsula, the T- and H-types those of the inland districts on the other side of the Cape Flats isthmus. This distinction is marked: perhaps the sea-gales of the Peninsula called for one larger, and better protected, internal courtyard, or perhaps the deciding factor was material — to make the main reception-room longer, the U-type house requires a small area of flat roof inside the U, and materials to make this flat roof watertight could only be procured in Cape Town, and would have been too expensive to transport inland.

The T-type is the type of the small house: as family or fortune grew, a half-wing was easily added to produce a small-h-type, or a whole wing to produce the fully-fledged capital H. The T-type therefore appears before the H-type does: but the latter was already common by the year 1770.


"U" Plan "T" Plan "H" Plan

[de Bosdari, C, 1953. Cape Dutch houses and farms. Cape Town/Amsterdam: A. A. Balkema. pp, 18-19.]