Manor House: an architectural marvel

The 240-metre long Manor House is the only building in South Africa designed by renowned creative Marco Zanuso and was built entirely by an Italian team of craftsmen. This structural wonder has generated great interest from architects, photographers and designers both locally and internationally, with its echoes of the Mashona architecture of the Great Zimbabwean Ruins and its incredible position, set almost inside the landscape.

The land was reportedly one of the first commissions for landscape architect Patrick Watson, who completed what was at the time a radically different garden using indigenous materials in response to the rustic, organic architecture of Manor House. The spectacular view from the front of the property and from the accessible roof looks out across the valley, all the way to Lydenburg.

Indigenous flora grows across the flat rooftop and, as a result the house cannot be seen from the air. The exterior may be a natural wonder, but the interior is a testament to Sydney Press’ wealth and obvious access to the cutting-edge technology of the time, with marble bathrooms, Cape pear floors, central heating and cooling throughout, automated jacuzzi baths and probably one of the first dishwashers to enter the country (the original remains in the kitchen).

The Coromandel Farmworker’s Trust currently maintains the property to the best of its ability, but it will take a capital injection to restore the house to its full former glory. The enormous property is currently available for rental on a self-catering basis.

Mpumalanga Provincial Government: Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration
No. 7 Government Boulevard
Building No. 6, 1 & 2nd Floor Riverside Park Extension 2
Zanele Shabangu
Tel: 013-766-6133
Email” [email protected]

National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Agriculture
Place 20 Beatrix Street
Private Bag x250
Tel: 012 319 6000

Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
Old building 184 Jacob Mare and Paul Kruger Street
Private Bag x833
Email: [email protected]

This article originally appeared in the Mail & Guardian newspaper as an advertorial supplement

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