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Revelstone: Beauty for life in the Franschhoek Village Centre

Often referred to as the food and wine capital of South Africa, Franschhoek was originally settled in 1688 by French Huguenot refugees. This important historical centre still retains its French character, a heritage which is preserved in the town’s Huguenot monument and a museum which chronicles the history of the first settlers.

Moreover, Cape Dutch architecture in much of the village is largely unspoilt. Therefore when a decision was taken to beautify some of the town’s wide pavements, a courtyard area and shopping alleys in 2005, the outcome had to be in keeping with an old French Village theme. Revelstone was keen to offer professional assistance. The paving block chosen for the pavements and courtyard was a square cobble in two colours, sandstone and robben island.

The cobbles were cast with a smooth cut flat face to allow for the creation of user-friendly surfaces. For instance, the paver is well suited to the high-traffic restaurant and retail areas where its smooth-cut flat surface is ideal for preventing the wobbling of tables and chairs. Moreover, it facilitates the easy use of trolleys, prams, bicycles, wheelchairs and even high heels. In addition to the cobble paver, special ‘stone’ edging was used to demarcate the circular tree beds. Wet cast tiles, with a traditional slate-like texture and a timeless elegance, were used in the covered alleys outside the shops. They are widely used for creating continuous flows between indoor areas, in this case, inside one of the shops as well as the alleyways. The end result was a beautiful, refreshed space, in keeping with the heart and style of Franschhoek.

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