LA BRUYERE'S UNIQUE GEODOME SETS THE SCENE AMIDST THE WITZENBERG MOUNTAIN RANGE
La Bruyere Farm’s Geodome is the ultimate destination for travellers – set amongst a picturesque landscape with deep connections to nature.
Situated against the Witzenberg mountain range near Tulbagh in the Western Cape – and less than one hour from Cape Town – La Bruyere farm is 222 hectares which hosts grape vineyards and winter crops; but visitors from afar are driven to this destination for another reason.
Perched atop the shoreline, the La Bruyere Geodome is a modern construction that wistfully blends into nature and encourages guests to enjoy a comfortable and luxurious stay among the sights and sounds of nature.
The concept from the Geodome originally came from Thor Normann, son of La Bruyere manager Jenny Normann.
“It’s technically a Geodesic dome – we came up with the concept from myself having travelled throughout South East Asia and Europe and having stayed in a bunch of unique stays,” explains Thor. “I always knew that on the farm I’d want to do something special, and the dome was something really unique that came to mind.”
“Danie, my husband and I, were overseas on holiday in Spain, and we got a message from Thor with a photograph of a dome photoshopped onto an existing photograph of where the dome is now – and he’d even put the reflection on the water,” adds Jenny. “…and he said, ‘hey guys, what do you think of this idea?’, and we thought, ‘Wow, brilliant! Let’s do it’.”
A geodesic dome is a hemispherical thin-shell structure. Typically, geodesic domes feature triangular elements that distribute structural stress – making the structure able to withstand very heavy loads. Today, the structure affords guests a tranquil stay amidst the beauty of the farm.
Danie Kotze, Jenny’s husband, elaborates that one of the biggest hurdles facing the project was the lack of services – such as running water and electricity – and that the domes need to be built with services on-hand through the use of generators and other portable supplies.
“It’s very secluded, and it’s very private – it’s a big interaction with nature because there’s very little interference from people… I think the dome itself is totally unique in South Africa,” says Jenny.
Guests from afar have flocked to enjoy the space – and Thor has already seen impressive results from his idea. “We completed the project about a year ago, and since then the feedback has been amazing – it’s booked out for 9 months in advance. It’s been exactly a year now since this one opened up, so we’ve started building another,” he says.
The construction of the Geodome – and its future sibling – have been a family exercise; where Danie and Thor have produced the structure while Jenny has added intimate touches such as stone walls which she has painstakingly assembled herself.
Visitors to the Geodome not only enjoy a unique stay and engagement with their natural surroundings, but can enjoy nearby mountain trials, forests, and even an untouched waterfall; making the venue a perfect getaway for couples seeking a romantic retreat.