2024 is VASSA’s 60th Anniversary!
We’ll be honouring this milestone with special celebrations throughout the course of the year, such as social festivities, select events, handpicked publications … Watch out for their roll out in our newsletters.


DATE: 18th JUNE 2024
TIME:  8pm
AT: The Athenaeum, corner of Campground Rd & Mariendahl Lane, drive through security boom at Boundary Terrace office park, and turn left at the top into the dedicated Athenaeum parking area
SPEAKER: Andre van Graan
The impact of the Arts & Crafts Movement on South African architecture. A fusion of colonial memories of England and the Cape vernacular tradition. 

Following on from our visit to Glen Dirk in April, and our walkabout in Lower Kenilworth last month, this talk seeks to trace the development of an appreciation of vernacular architecture from the influence of John Ruskin and William Morris on the works of architects both here and in Britain, exemplified in South Africa by the work of Herbert Baker’s practice among others.
It was out of this interest in the vernacular that ultimately led to the forming of the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa in 1964.


TIME: 09.45 for 10.00
LEADER: Alex Dodge

Meet and form convoy on Tokai road just above the Zwaanswyk turn off. (Traffic will be busy so be sensible). 

We will proceed into Chrysalis Academy where Mr Roman, the longtime facilities manager, will show us round the original reformatory within the modern campus. Chrysalis academy is in session, so it will be bustling.

We then walk around Tokai Manor House towards the Arboretum and hear of its layered past and plans for the future of Tokai (SAN Parks) and the Porter Estate.
We are not permitted up to the Manor House as it is an office now but one can still see a great deal.

GETTING THERE: From the M3 take Exit 21 / Tokai Rd at Blue Route. Turn RIGHT onto Tokai Rd and carry on, keep straight through circle past the golf course. Look for our cars on the left side of Tokai road and tuck in behind.



DATE: 16th JULY 2024
TIME:  8pm
AT: The Athenaeum, corner of Campground Rd & Mariendahl Lane, drive through security boom at Boundary Terrace office park, and turn left at the top into the dedicated Athenaeum parking area
SPEAKER: Roshan Bhurta
TOPIC: Preserving History: Spatial Documentation of Heritage Sites Through the Lens of Mostert Mill and other sites

Roshan holds both an MBA and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town (UCT), and he holds a CopyrightX certificate from Harvard. Currently serving as a Chief Scientific Officer at UCT, he has done fieldwork in 20+ countries since 2007, participating in projects such as Egypt’s Valley of the Queens (Getty) and Petra (UNESCO). He is part of the Global Digital Heritage team, housed in Civil Engineering at UCT.

In addition to his role at UCT, Roshan is the Director of Protea VR, a startup specialising in Virtual Reality, Machine Vision, and 3D printing. His expertise encompasses data capture and processing involving laser scanning, photogrammetry, panoramic photography, 3D model creation, Python scripting, and metadata generation. From 2012 to 2019, he taught programming to Honours students at UCT’s Geomatics division. He is also proficient in using many software packages including Reality Capture and Meshlab.

Fluent in both English and French, Roshan has contributed to workshops in Africa and Asia focusing on 3D modelling in spatial heritage documentation. Roshan is a committee member of VASSA.

READ THE LATEST VASSA Newsletter June 2024 or access all newsletters in Publications

And a sobering article on the loss at the Jagger Library at UCT as a result of the fire



For a very small sum of money, each year you get … ten lectures, ten outings – including an ‘away weekend’
PLUS… monthly newsletters, informative publications / reports / journals, & special perks.
To say nothing of CPD points if you are a professional!
Lost badges can be replaced for R40, which is what we pay for the badge.
2024 SUBSCRIPTION FEES / Rates are being held at previous years’ fees.
Single member R250
Family membership R400
SACAP accreditation R500
Click here for HOW TO JOIN / PAY 
Please send proof of payment to: avisfisher47@gmail.com


TALKS happen on the third Tuesday of a month, at the Athenaeum in Newlands. All are welcome, free of charge
OUTINGS happen on the last Saturday of a month (usually). Members only

VASSA outings usually take us onto private properties, and into private homes.
This is a special privilege which must be respected. Hence this list of rules.

Only paid up members may attend outings. (Visitors pay the annual price of membership to attend the outing.)
Strictly no children and no pets. Always wear your Vassa name badge.

Make sure to sign the register.
On arrival stay close to the leader so that the host can be introduced.  Do not wander off before the introduction.
On departure, gather around the leader to thank the host.  Do not leave before this.
If you have to leave before the end of the outing, inform the outing leader so that they do not wait or look for you.

Switch off cell phones or put them on ‘silent’.
Do not engage the host in private conversations and recollections while everyone else is milling around.
Before taking interior photographs, check with the outing leader that this is okay.
Do not post photographs of the interior on Facebook – this is deemed a security risk.
Do not touch anything – do not pick up porcelain to check maker’s mark, do not take books out of bookcases, etc.
Do not open closed doors.
Do not sit on the furniture.
Do not use the toilet without asking the host’s permission.
Do not take plant slips from the garden.
Do not use the privilege of an outing to organise private business arrangements or return visits with the host.
Do not voice negative – or personal – comments while on site.

Vassa outings are usually open for all members to attend. However, certain outings may not be able to accommodate a large group of people, in which case numbers are limited to a first come first served basis, and a contact email address is always provided to secure your spot.
If you cannot attend, let the organiser know so that someone else on the waiting list can.



An assortment of books have come into VASSA’s possession over the years. The books are reasonably priced.
First come, first served. Money raised will be used to finance VASSA research projects or publications.

How to buy
Make payment into VASSA account with your name and the word BOOKS as reference.
Please let Pat Kramer know if you wish to buy one (or more) of the books at studio@iafrica.com.
Pay only when your purchase has been confirmed.
Bank details for the Vernacular Architecture Society (VASSA):
Bank: Standard Bank / Branch code: 025009 / Account Name: VASSA / Account Number: 075624257

Books can be collected at the VASSA meeting at the Athenaeum in Newlands, (third Tuesday of every month) or from Pat Kramer in the Gardens. Books can also be posted via PAXI, the Pep courier service: check payment details on the internet and add to your payment.

Thanks to Jackie Kallaway who catalogued the books and Joy Woodward and Avis Fisher who organised and typed up the list.
Pat Kramer converted the prices into rands and Nigel Amschwand and Anton Roux advised on prices.



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