Architecture, design

David Krynauw chats about creating his first large-scale structure

Tracing the dream of David Krynauw's whimsical wooden chapel goes back to the insight his father had to plant Eucalyptus saligna trees on their farm, 15km outside of Piet Retief. The David Krynauw team collaborated with architectural technologists Gideon Pieterse and Ane Combrink to bring to life the building the pair designed for their wedding ceremony. We spotlighted this beautiful timber structure in the June issue of House and Leisure. Here, we chat to David to find out more about what went into making it. The chapel is the first structure the David Krynauw team has built. Talk us through the process and what it entailed from start to finish. The idea of building my own wooden structures came as a young boy, spending time in my father’s books. This has always been a dream. While visiting Germany, I was  inspired by the tools that could be acquired to execute this dream. I soon realised that I needed a viable reason to invest in this level of machinery. I decided to take the unconventional approach in designing a process around access technology that required a lower-risk investment. The Kas 1, designed for Southern Guild woodwork, opened a new world of possibilities. We bought the machine and spent another year further developing the process, which lead to the point where we were ready to execute our first structure. What new challenges emerged? And, do you think this project will influence the furniture you go on to create? Apart from the two-week construction deadline, the challenges mainly came prior to building the structure – figuring out how to best execute this idea. There were various learning curves in improving our process and making our dream commercially viable. Our work is always evolving – one thing usually leads to another. The opportunities are limitless and this will allow us to always progress. The timber used for the chapel was planted by your father many years ago. What’s the story here? My father bought the farm in 1994, and from the onset he had the long-term vision to grow timber to use as saw logs, as opposed to the conventional paper-and-pulp usage. From the beginning, it was my intention to find a way to utilise the timber in Madola. It's a real blessing to now have the business that can support the vision that was started by my father.   Tell us more about the creative people you worked with to realise this vision? The collective knowledge that we have built up as a team over the last nine years is what enables us to create the things that we create. This business is not a one-man show. From our architect who designs the structures to the skilled factory workers operating machinery, everyone plays a vital part in bringing our ideas to life. What was the most rewarding part of the entire process for you? And was there anything that surprised you along the way?  It is always greatly rewarding turning a concept sketch into reality. The scale of this structure surprised me and left me feeling mesmerised – as if I was dreaming. Can we expect more large-scale structures from David Krynauw in the future? Anything specific we should be keeping an eye out for? This is only the start. We are currently working on various projects, ranging from a living pod solution to a wedding venue to pop-up shops. Keep an eye on and follow the journey. Visit for more.
Get your copy of House and Leisure's June 2017 design issue for more on David Krynauw's spectacular chapel.
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