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House EC McConnell
Kenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape

Leonard Forbes McCONNELL: Architect


Cumming-George 1933

THIS EXAMPLE of the work of the late Mr. Leonard McConnell is an original conception worked out on traditional lines. The house rises from a brick and mountain-stone foundation with white plaster walls above. The centre gable is indicative of Spanish influence, and is very novel in treatment.

This centre gable shows many fresh and interesting features. The broad base includes the main entrance, the covered stoep of the dining room, and the plaster grille which lights the lounge. On the upper floor and within the gable is a recessed balcony window, the deep reveals of which are richly moulded in plaster. Across this recess is a wrought iron balcony of simple design.

The main entrance has double doors with shaped heads and fielded panels and is approached through two massive square piers flanking the arched entrance.

Within the house, the hall has a barrel-vaulted ceiling and the walls are in high texture plaster in silver. The door openings are formed in groined intersections of the vaulted ceilings. A wide arch spans the lower portion of the hall which contains the staircase, cloakroom and study.

Another item of interest is the strip lighting in the dining-room which is concealed behind a wide cornice at picture rail level. One bedroom is fitted with a bath built into a specially designed recess. Built-in wardrobes have small windows to light them.

In the lounge, besides the plaster grille already mentioned, there is a fine recessed fireplace, built of klompje brick with stone quoins. A copper hood covers the fireplace with flanking pieces of ornamental pierced copper. The fireplace is lighted by electric fittings concealed in the recess.

Writings about this entry

Cumming-George, L. 1933. Architecture in South Africa - Volume One. Cape Town: The Speciality Press of S.A. Ltd.. pg 105-107