One of my fondest memories is of walking with my sculpture tutor through his garden in Essex on an unusually warm spring day.
As we neared a flower bed exploding with tulips he broke off from telling me about Degas’s wax models and asked, “Crispian, do you know how we know there is a God?” Without waiting for an answer he grabbed the nearest flower and said, “We know, because only God could put this colour next to that colour and get away with it.”
Obviously, a riotous abundance of tulips had to be our choice for the cover and the opening image of our exclusive coverage of Karen Roos’ newly revamped English estate The Newt in Somerset. As much as the project boggles the mind in both ambition and beauty, it also brings a uniquely South African aesthetic to a little corner of the UK – which can only be a good thing.
The VISI team rarely sets out with a theme in mind, but often one emerges as the magazine is put together, and this issue is no exception. You will see that all of the featured houses are obsessed with their views. Some use ingenious shutter systems, like the magnificent Clifton house designed by SAOTA (page 116); others place windows at unusual heights or looking out onto unconventional vistas, like architect Nadine Engelbrecht’s inventive Menlo Park renovation (page 62) and the Langebaan Lagoon house designed by Bettina Woodward (page 96).
While bringing the outside in is not a new concept, it has been beautifully explored and reinvented by Hendre Bloem in Greyton (page 106) and by Gillian Holl of Veld Architects on Monaghan Farm (page 84). And if for you the advent of spring is a signal to start taking the occasional weekend away and you are a fan of fresh local produce, make sure to stop in at Jacques Erasmus and Hein Liebenberg’s beautiful new shop in Montagu (page 74).
I hope you love VISI 103 as much as we loved making it for you, and that you find inspiration and relaxation in its pages. In working on it I have been reminded to go and rediscover and enjoy the view from my balcony this spring. I might even plant a tulip or two.
– Crispian Brown, Art Director
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