Areas and Places

Old and new homes blend harmoniously in Paarl – South Africa's third oldest town

Scenic mountain views from the patio of the timeless Paarl home designed by world-renowned architect Pius Pahl. The property is on the market through Pam Golding Properties, priced at R5.995 million.

Perhaps more than any other town in South Africa, Paarl – the third oldest in the country and the largest in the Cape Winelands, represents an eclectic mix of both historic and modern new houses juxtaposed in many areas and suburbs.

And yet the variety of architectural styles which span centuries blend together well, says Surina du Toit, area manager for Pam Golding Properties: “Paarl has retained its unique historic appeal even amid all the development which has gone on over the past few decades. The heart of the town is today a sought after business hub, with some homes converted to business use – for offices, coffee shops, restaurants and the like.”

Situated 60km north east of Cape Town, while agriculture remains its backbone, modern-day Paarl is self-sufficient, offering every amenity you could ask for.

“Today Paarl is equally recognised for its excellent schooling facilities as well as agriculture. Popular among home buyers from around the country with school-going children, Paarl offers a range of job opportunities, being home to large industries like Pioneer Foods and KWV, as well as other businesses such as fruit exporters,” says du Toit.

“There is a very strong foundation of solid family values, which makes it ideal for raising a family. The town offers a unique blend of people from young to elderly, professionals, artists, holidaymakers and those who enjoy the quality of life in a town that is small enough still be rural, yet large enough to offer you everything. We ‘live’ outside for nine months of the year, relishing the outdoor attractions and healthy country environment on cycling tracks, running trails and a host of other activities.”

Strolling down the main road and through the surrounds on the Paarl Historic Walk the rich heritage of the town is evident, with many National Monuments within a few kilometres. Here you will find numerous architectural examples, including the oldest church still in use in South Africa – the Strooidakkerk (Thatch Roof Church), built in 1804. Georgian-style buildings rub shoulders with Victorian-style houses, many of which were converted from Cape Dutch style according to the architectural trends at the time.

“Historic homes available to purchase are scarce and popular among a range of buyers because of their rarity appeal and compelling ambience. Buyers are also drawn in particular by homes that have been sympathetically renovated as well as by the large plots, majestic oak trees, rolling lawns and historic farms,” says du Toit.

Other buyers prefer a modern home with contemporary architecture and open plan living spaces modern finishes and scenic views. They want a house that can accommodate our style of living in Paarl which combines an indoor and outdoor lifestyle with large sliding doors, spacious outside entertainment areas and patios.

“With new homes generally only becoming available in newly developed estates and only a handful of undeveloped freehold plots in Paarl, makes a luxurious, modern home which has come onto the market even more special, particularly as it is on a large erf of 2 551sqm, ideally positioned in the heart of Paarl. Properties of this calibre seldom come onto the market.”

Restored to perfection three years ago and designed in 1974 by world-renowned Bauhaus architect Pius Pahl, who married a South African and moved to Stellenbosch in the 1950s, the timeless design of this spacious four bedroom, two bathroom home is so in vogue right now. The Bauhaus was an influential modernist art school in Germany, founded in 1919.

Pahl spent a year planning the house, including considerable time on site deciding precisely where the house should be built – before he began the design. This is one of the first examples in South Africa of a home that is built around the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. “It means that the residents are constantly aware of the outdoor environment and in contact with nature. In this unique home you are aware of light, shadow, texture, changes in seasons and entire surroundings. Japanese architects refer to this as sensory architecture, which ‘turns around’ what you experience”.

“This architectural gem on the slopes of Paarl Mountain has been sensitively renovated to unlock its serenity and intimate connection with its natural surrounds. The single-storey Bauhaus-inspired home features an open plan living area and kitchen, second lounge, four bedrooms, study and two bathrooms. The double garage has been converted into a large studio or flatlet with en suite bathroom and has direct access to the house.”

The spectacular views, wide wooden ceilings and clay tiled floors throughout, appealing courtyard and a beautiful wild terrace garden are just some of the special features of this tranquil family home. Bauhaus architecture highlights the importance of orientation and space transition. This house sits comfortably within its surroundings, at one with the site, its topography, views and the falling of light. This exceptional property is priced at R5.995 million through Pam Golding Properties.