The farm Tempe, once comprised a large tract of land to the North of Bloemfontein. Today the development of the city has taken up much of this land.
The original farmhouse, known as The Homestead still exists, albeit in a much-altered condition. The roof eventually had to be replaced due to the numerous holes shot through the corrugated sheeting by boisterous officers during the Anglo Boer War.
The stables are part of the outbuilding complex of The Homestead, and was together with a 2ha portion of land, subdivided from the original small holding.
From a design point of view, the building offered exciting possibilities. The building is extremely simple with a rectangular plan and a nearly double volume height. The walls are partially built with stone and cement–washed fairface brickwork. The structure was not particularly well-built but was in a fair condition after more than 100 years.
The large open interior appealed to the client and the new accommodation was inserted into the existing space as a more or less freestanding element. Where additional height was required, the roof was elevated. Originally, the floor sloped to a central channel that collected the run-off water from the stables. The channel remained as a floor duct with fluorescent strip lighting.
The views to the north over the Free State landscape is particularly pleasing and are framed by large window openings, some protected by heavy sliding shutters that allow night breezes to cool down the interior.
Fortunately, the original plasterwork was applied with an indifferent insouciance that was now effortlessly matched by the contractor. The building is also out of square, which did not seem to bother the horses, the client or the architect. The contractor, uncharacteristically displayed signs of peevishness at this but was persuaded to work with the situation.