Corbelled house 3D models


Slingersfontein corbelled house

Scattered throughout the Northern Cape Province of South Africa are unique Corbelled houses that were built by the trekboere (roaming farmers or pioneers). These stock farmers migrated from the south into the Karoo in the early 1800’s, to discover that trees were sparse and rocks aplenty. Consequently, they set about building shelter with the available raw materials.


Slingersfontein textured model

Built by the early Dutch farmers, this stone house is 6.5 m wide and 6 m tall. Using this model you can go inside to look at the interior in detail.


Rietpoort corbelled house

This beautiful corbelled house example has had a number of modifications made in the 1980’s including the brick fireplaces, chimneys, connecting wall and entrances. In its original state, there were two simple domes structures that were not connected. 


Swaelkrans corbelled house

The corbelled house located on the Swaelkrans farm is in a very poor state. The unstable structure is bulging significantly on one side and large cracks have formed as a result. Using the scan data we were able to quantify the extent of the bulge that has put considerable strain of the walls and caused the severe cracks. The scan data also revealed that this shift has caused the wooden door frame to pull 15cm away from the building, and that the door frame was offering no support to the failing structure. Without any reinforcements, this building is likely to collapse in time. Many of the collapsed corbelled houses have been lost due to similar unaddressed conditions. Scan data provides data that is measurable and quantifiable which can be used to approach heritage authorities and funders about urgent restoration work.


Carnarvon corbelled house

The corbelled house which currently stands outside the Carnarvon museum is an interesting example as it was removed from its original location on Biesiesput farm when it became derelict. The building was dismantled (each stone was numbered) and rebuilt in Carnarvon in 1987. The work was carried out with the help of the farm owner, Roy Riley, under the auspices of the Rapportryers. Inside the corbelled house are a number of artefacts which would have been used by the original trekboers.


Leifontein corbelled house 1

The corbelled buildings of the Northern Cape are the only examples in Southern Africa that still stand today and represent a special phase in the history of vernacular architecture in South Africa.


Leifontein corbelled house 2

The corbelled houses are excellent examples of the ingenuity of the early Dutch pioneers who moved into the Karoo semi-desert landscape from about 1820 through to the end of the nineteenth century. They discovered that trees were sparse and set about building their dwellings using the only available material, stone. 


Ystervarkspoort corbelled house

This corbelled house located on the Ystervarkspoort farm has been significantly altered. Modern doors and windows have been installed and the roof has been plastered and painted white. A recent study has suggested that the shapes of corbelled building and their distribution represent a chronological progression from simple to more complex, or from purely round forms to the later addition of rectangular forms and pitched roofs.


Silvery Holme corbelled house

This corbelled house consists of two domes, one half the size of the other. The exterior has been plastered but has slowly started to peel off exposing the underlying stones.


Werda corbelled house

This is an interesting example of corbelled house because of its oval shape which is unusual. Most of the corbelled houses in the Karoo have round or square bases.


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