…by “working ecology into a cultural landscape” to design a meaningful, attractive, and popular tourist destination. Bosjes is an exemplar of this approach.
Many farms, like Bosjes, are sitting with a vast, untapped wealth of natural, scenic, and spatial assets. Changing markets and ideals are opening opportunities outside of a pure focus on agricultural production. The key is to unlock the potential without undermining the whole and accessing the broader farm experience to diversify the offering of the estate.
So, what natural systems and place-making interventions can turn regional estates into authentic and relevant destinations?
1) We designed a park that incorporated restorative ecological strategies to bring a very degraded portion of land back to life.
2) Referencing cultural landscape informants to attract visitors and bring meaning to the farm experience.
3) By introducing a curved walkway, setting up a sequence of garden rooms and by wrapping the landscape over the buildings, we were able to generate a sense of greater space in a long narrow site.
4) Creating and array of multifunctional amenity spaces for weddings, receptions, concerts and picnic areas we can ensure that many different people can use the site at the same time.
5) An integrated water management design references the historic farm systems in the valley with recreational streams, channels, weirs and dams to ensure resilience in this drough stressed environment.
6) Cultural landscape references have been introduced, including windbreaks, a woodland, orchards, and reservoirs were reinterpreted as attractive landscape elements that still provide their functional values of shelter and production.
7) While the entire landscape is designed for play, we have also included forest, water, and air playscapes to get children and adults to engage with the elements.
8) A locally indigenous restoration area is underway to reveal the natural beauty of the critically endangered Renosterveld vegetation type of the valley.
9) The Boombrug canopy walk takes visitors on a journey through the forest canopy, providing stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.