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Five minutes with Mariska Auret about Clara Anna Fontein Lifestyle Estate

Mariska Auret

When Rabie acquired Clara Anna Fontein in 2013, the vision was to turn the property into the most sought-after lifestyle estate in the Northern suburbs.  Mariska Auret, Director at Rabie, became involved with the estate in 2014 as project manager, and has overseen every aspect of the development since.

We sat down with Mariska, to find out more about this incredible estate.

The original farmhouse built in the 1700’s still stands on the estate.  It was restored and integrated with an architecturally distinct lifestyle centre.  What was the most challenging and most exciting part of that project?

The biggest challenge was to integrate the modern extension with the beautiful existing heritage farmhouse without detracting from the building, but rather to enhance and celebrate the heritage features of the house. Renovations always come with a whole list of unknowns and this project was no exception. Navigating the rules and regulations when renovating a heritage building and managing this process sensitively, adds a whole new layer of complexity.  As a project manager, two of the most critical consideration when executing a project is to adhere to the project schedule and budget. Both these elements are challenged when working on a heritage building.

The property was acquired as a small game farm.  What were some of the intricacies involved in relocating the game and ensuring that a section of the property remains a conservation area?

Our Joint Venture partners, The Louw Family, specifically Berti Louw, was very professional and ensured the animals were moved to the top end of the farm without excessive distress to the game. The animals still have access to the waterhole at the clubhouse.  Some of the animals on the reserve are zebra, springbok, bontebok, ostrich and eland.

Aerial of Clara Anna Fontein Lifestyle Estate taken in September 2020

Clara Anna Fontein has become a fully-fledged multi-generational estate.  Can you take us through some of the elements on the estate that is ideal for an extended family?

Where to start? Clara Anna Fontein offers something for everyone. To name a few of the obvious things like the gym, running paths and playparks are all very popular amongst the residents. The lifestyle facilities also include tennis courts, squash courts, a 3-lane lap pool and state of the art lifestyle centre for all to enjoy. Seeing these areas come to life with children playing soccer, grandparents enjoying time with grandchildren in the playparks and teens riding their bikes, is what truly energises the development.  With Reddam Durbanville on the estate, Clara Anna Fontein is a popular address for growing families with school going children. The carefree, barefoot children and the absolute piece of mind living in the estate is how every child should experience life.

You have been involved with three types of homes – townhouses at The Village; plot and plan erven and now Oasis Life, a retirement component.  What are some of the differences in developing a retirement estate and are there specific design considerations you had to keep in mind?

A lot of design consideration went into the planning and execution of the retirement homes. With Clara situated on the side of a hill, one of the biggest challenges was to create platforms while doing the earthworks. It was vital to understand how the houses and levels will interact with one another, while creating an open village feeling. The consideration to create an element of privacy at each house was also a challenge, as this is not a “one size fits all” solution.

We spent extensive time on site to create the best conditions for each individual home. Without compromising on style and contemporary architecture, we carefully designed our Oasis Life homes to ensure that every lay-out is practical and smart. We also took great care to future proof and age-tailor every home. Elements like being wheelchair and ease of mobility ready, single level houses, no steps into showers where possible and slip resistant floors were implemented. Designing for the new generation retiree in mind, means combining simple elegance with ultimate comfort and practicality.

What is on the cards for Clara Anna Fontein in the near future?

Our exciting new Oasis Life clubhouse will be opening in December this year, adding a primary healthcare suite, library, salon and restaurant, to name a few, for the residents to enjoy. We will also be launching the final phase of Oasis Life early next year. We invite you to come enjoy a cup of coffee with our team on site and we will show you around!

Last, but not least, we are in the planning phase of the convenience shopping centre that will add the last layer of ultimate convenience right on Clara Anna Fountains’ doorstep in a few years’ time. Watch this space!

Get in touch with us!

To find out about more about The Village, plot-and-plan erven or Oasis Life retirement, contact Johan de Bruyn on 082 881 2011 or visit the respective websites below.

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