A typology for 'waenhuise' in the vernacular farm architecture of the trans-Vaal River region

21 Feb 2012

The word ‘waenhuis’ has become synonymous for what is also referred to as a ‘wagon shed.’ Eventually, the term will disappear as the building’s association with wagons becomes less obvious. At the same time ‘waenhuise’ will become relevant to museums and conservationists involved in the study and conservation of local vernacular architecture. Part of investigating these buildings is the creation of a typology to determine trends and building traditions associated with this building type. Spatial configuration and organization of the floor plan are useful criteria to create such a typology. Two basic types, single- and multi-space ‘waenhuise’ can be distinguished. Single-space buildings can be divided into ‘open-sided shelters’ and ‘waenhuise with walls’. Multi-space buildings are divided into those structures consisting of a core building with additions and those that are part of a dwelling. Material and building technique are less important criteria for a typology, but remain essential for the description of the architectural vocabulary of individual buildings.