How to Bring Light into a Thatched Rondavel

We currently have a thatching team in Mvezo - the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where a big Cultural Centre is being developed. The Cintsa Thatching team are currently completing the thatching of 10 rondavels. This circular building is very traditional in South Africa, especially in the rural Eastern Cape, and the buildings are traditionally thatched. Often these buildings can become quite dark and gloomy inside with only small windows around the outer walls and a wooden entrance door.
A traditional rondavel with no extra windows or
doors to create light inside the building

One solution to this problem of light, which was utilized in Mvezo, is the use of a fibre-glass capping at the top of the roof. These cappings are pre-made and transported to site and take up quite a large area of the roof (much larger than a standard concrete or metal capping would).

Fiberglass cappings on site before they are fitted

A row of thatched roofs with fiberglass cappings fitted
The effect of these cappings is extremely visually appealing and increases the amount of light in the rondavel enormously.
An internal view of the fiberglass capping in the roof

The rondavels from afar - the fiberglass is
very visually appealing 

The fitting of these cappings requires a more complex support structure for both the thatch and poles, so that the capping can be supported and fixed to the thatched roof adequately. This design and engineering must be completed by a professional engineer who will sign the structures off once completed.

To see more examples of thatching by Cintsa Thatching visit our website gallery.