In the June issue of House and Leisure we visit Twee Jonge Gezellen in Tulbagh in the Western Cape. Home to Krone, a collection of vintage-only South African Méthode Cap Classiques, this historic farm has recently undergone a revamp with the help of dynamic interior, product and event designer Tracy Lee Lynch of St.udio Leelynch. Tracy’s interior design for the estate was inspired by its rich heritage and original architecture, as well as circular forms and natural, earth-friendly materials, and it exudes a sparkling energy befitting of Krone’s character. Dramatic, custom-made pieces by local design stars, including Gregor Jenkin, Laurie Wiid and Meyer von Wielligh, add a contemporary twist to the space. We chatted with Tracy about the inner workings of this impressive project.
How did the elements that inspired you come together in what we see as the end result at Twee Jonge Gezellen?
I drew on the incredible heritage and authentic Cape Dutch architecture as well as the sparkling character of Krone to inspire a cohesive creative vision for the farm. I wanted the Twee Jonge Gezellen experience to express to visitors its history and provenance, as well as the avant-garde nature and freshness of Krone, the wine and Méthode Cap Classique it produces.
From cork to copper, can you talk us through some of the materials you’ve chosen to utilise?
Cape Dutch architecture and permanent structures and heritage demand absolute respect. This is what informed the use of natural materials such as oak and clay, creating a pared-back aesthetic where the architecture takes centre stage and a quiet austerity and sense of permanence pervades in the design.
In playful contrast to this, an element of shine and sparkle is evident in my use of brass. Cork is another material I used unexpectedly – its innovative use in the design is intended to surprise and delight visitors. It’s also a versatile, sustainable material intimately associated with viticulture, has warmth and a distinctive texture, and it references the new Krone twist cork.
Black steel forms the rings in the barrels and references the industrial workings of the farm, as well as picking up on the science lab aesthetic, hinting at the processes that produce wine. Terracotta clay, a natural material sourced in the area, can be seen in the klompie bricks and terracotta floor tiles. And lastly, I used Delft to speak to the history of the Cape, although it’s been translated in a contemporary way. It occurs only in key moments and when it does, offers a surprising pop of colour.
Of all the creative devices you’ve incorporated in the interiors, which was your favourite and why?
The circle motif: it appears naturally and repeatedly on the farm: in the barrels, the wine corks, the shapes of the bottles as they appear lying on their sides, and the original half-circle windows. I translated it into the new design because it’s simple and graphic, an unending shape. It represents unity, infinity and it’s incredibly pleasing to the eye. Most importantly, the bubble of the sparkling wine creates its character, and I aimed to bring in this sparkling quality. I used the circle motif throughout the design in both subtle and dramatic ways. It’s seen in everything from the lighting fixtures, such as the circlular Mema pendant lights over the reception, to the organic drip-splattered upholstery fabric in black and white dots, which bring a playful drama to the terrace.
Twee Jonge Gezellen consists of various areas that include the tasting room, the terrace and the winemaker’s cellar. Which did you most enjoy working on?
A cooler, darker, more focused tasting experience awaits you as you step inside the tasting room and this area is distinctive with its play of dark and light. The ceiling is covered with cork tiles and its beams are darkened. A dramatic horseshoe-shaped bar by Gregor Jenkin and Charles Haupt of Bronze Age glints from the corner of the room. The Cape Dutch-inspired circular tasting tables, also by Gregor, are made of steel and have cork tops by Laurie Wiid. They are surrounded by Gregor’s Quaker chairs – original, monastic and simple. The half-circle window and door are delicately rendered in new black metal frames and the windows are extended to the ground, offering a view to the cellar below.
See more of Tracy’s work on leelynch.co.za.
Get your copy of House and Leisure‘s June 2017 design issue for a closer look at Twee Jonge Gezellen Estate.