Striated Skies No. 40 – Thesen Turbine

40. Thesen Turbines

Thesen Islands Turbine Hotel was established in 2010. The hotel is housed in the refurbished power station that was in operation on the island from 1939 to 2001 when the power station was decommissioned.

Thesen islands is named after Charles William Thesen who bought the island (it was called Paarden island at the time) in 1922 in order to process timber. The Thesen family had moved from Norway to Knysna in 1870 and founded numerous business entities in the town. The wood processing plant resulted in waste. This was used as fuel to power the turbines for electricity generation.

In 1974 Barlows, purchased the logging operations. The operations on the islands were decommissioned in early 1980 due to the adverse environment impact they caused. Barlow sold the islands for re-development and CMAI went on to develop the Islands into the internationally acclaimed marina development it is today, housing the Thesen Harbour Town with its shops, restaurants and hotels, together with 596 residential houses and apartments, 19 interlinked islands and numerous canals.

A museum concept for the old power station never materialized and the site was sold to the current Hotel owner and operators, Geoff Engel and Dandre Lerm, in September 2007. Rezoning, approvals and building of the site took almost 3 years and the full operation commenced trading on 12 August 2010.

I have did not stay at the hotel so I cannot comment on it. The hotel website gives the following description. The Turbine Hotel & Spa comprises 24 bedrooms and suites, an Amani African Spa, the 90 seater Island Café, The Turbine Tapas Bar, together with Conference facilities, pool deck, jetty for motorized pontoon cruises and a host of modern facilities which tastefully complement the refurbished facilities and equipment which have been bought back to life around the property. The original wood boiler, four electricity generators and much of the equipment have been fully restored and blend in with the hotel’s décor themes. Each bedroom has been individually decorated and is themed and named to reflect the rich cultural, historical and geographic diversity of Knysna.


Knysna is a great tourist destination and part of the Garden Route which is a must for any savy traveller. It is known for its many festivals, which you can check put here. Make sure you take a trip through the garden route and spend time in Knysna.

For more information visit:



Striated Skies no. 14 – Thank you Mr Hermann

Striated Skies

I have a love for architecture and appreciate a beautiful building almost as much as a beautiful piece of nature. I am always on the look out for real gems and the Carl Hermann Building is one of those gems.

I first saw this building when attending a Startup Grind event at the Townhouse Hotel in Cape Town. I fell in love with this building and said to myself that I want to own it one day. On my second trip to Startup Grind I decided to take a picture of the building in order to give it a Striated sky.

The building is in a victorian style and was classified, by the South African Heritage Resource Agency, as a Heritage Site in 1990. It was designed by Parker and Forsyth and completed in 1905. Currently called the Carl Hermann Building, this beauty was previously called the W Irving Building. Woolworths Pty(Ltd) own this building and it houses offices. The building is maintained very well and is a real jewel tucked away in Cape Town Centre. The northern side elevation of the building is a blank canvas that would be the perfect place of a mural such as a picture of Table Mountain if the building where not there.

North Elevation


Come on Woolworths find it in your hearts to beautify the side of this building or give it to me to do :-P. Make your way down to Corporation Street and check it out.

Striated Skies so far…

Striated skies

2015 is rushing along like years seem to do these days and so far I have published 12 striated skies out of the 52 for the year. I am thoroughly enjoying this project and hope that you are too. Let me know what has been your favourite so far.

Tomorrow I will publish number 13 titled  “Creeping Condensation”.

Striated Skies No. 9 – Function and Form

9. Form and Function

Last Friday, the 27th of February I finished my job as a Warehouse Pharmacist next to the Cape Town International Airport. I loved working near the airport to view the wonder of flight on a daily basis. I do not think that the fact we as humans manage to get that much weight up into the sky will get old for me!!! I thought that it was thus fitting to put together this piece that depicts a plane landing with a pile of wooden pallets destined for recycling. I love the contrast that exist between simple rudimentary wooden pallets and all the technology in the plane which we take for granted. Many people may view each of the items in the same functional light and that interests me…. I hope you like the piece as well as the picture below.

I love being inspired by what I see so leave a comment if there is striated sky you would like to see. Places have to be in South Africa and preferable in the Western Cape.

Airport Extra picHave a great week and find someway to make another person smile!