The Bester home :

front facade entrance to living room large outside sculpture
front door garage and roof overhang bar
first floor viewing room
first floor viewing room
 
Willie Bester's family home is situated in a quiet Cape Town suburb of Kuilsrivier and it stands as a beacon to his uncensored artistic expression. The statement it makes ( as does his art ) is that by looking past the clichés of everyday life in our country, one will discover the raw energy and inventiveness that give our land and its people their unique character.

Situated on the lower end of a cul-de-sac is a unique blue and purple building, which looks more like an art sculpture than a house. On the sidewalk a lonely parking meter stands guard to the driveway and in the garden with its colourful windmill with Ndebele design stands a huge welded sculpture of an armed canon. Other interesting sculptures decorate the rest of the garden like a birdhouse from recycled steel objects and horns. There are various taps installed around and inside the house and the water motif runs through the house, the wind mill, fountain, blue colours and mosaics. The swimming pool is built from rocks out of the surroundings and in the corner a recycled notice from the past, which clearly indicates " Whites Only ". Recycling material like this is very important to Willie ( like water that evaporates and is naturally recycled, returning as rain ) and plays an important part in his home and his art. Inside an old geyser serves as a liquor cabinet and a petrol pump is used as a hi-fi cabinet.

Carin Smuts of CS Studio Architects was asked to design the house for Willie and had to familiarize herself with the artist and his work before she decided on the approach. When looking at Willie's work the viewer is often startled by what one sees, it is often shocking and harsh but never dull. It is the collaged, layered way in which he works that contributes to the richness and intrigue of his art, and she decided that that would be the departing point.

 
stairs tv room stairs
Kitchen staircase and walkway kitchen and bar
door to bathroom stairs dining room with sculpture
suspended car
artist studio
 
As the Besters also had a very good idea of what they were looking for in their house it was a collaborative process from the start, with specific input from them. The task of the Architect and specifically Carin was to try and balance the creation of a spatiality exciting house with the needs of the family. Evelyn, Willie's wife has very specific ideas about her domain the kitchen like to make use of the wood of old railway sleepers for the cupboards.The main double-volume circular space is the centre of the house. When seated in this spacious living room, one can look up into the open space and the second level where Willie's studio is situated. An old 1962 Fiat 500 is delicately suspended above the visitor. Willie is not a solitary artist and briefed the architect that the main space upstairs ( his studio ) should be designed as the centre of attraction and creativity, allowing him to be integrated with his family's life even while working.

The private domain of the bedrooms radiates from the centre and become special cocoons, each one different, like those who inhabit them. The tiles in the bathrooms are all recycled and form a playful puzzle of colour. The roof resembles wings, which creates the illusion that the house could take off in flight. 

Above the heavy front door from sleeper wood is a roof in the form of an airplane wing, which protects one from the Cape showers in winter. Here again the motif of water is prominent as pipes and valves forms the pillars on which the wing rests. 

The house like Willie's art has grown and changed over the last few years since the basic construction and he has been adding on smaller artistic features all the time. 

According to Carin, 'Willie has the ability, reflected in his work and lifestyle, to manage successfully many different philosophical approaches, which ultimately allowed them to design the house in such an Imaginative manner. The house forms an integral part of the artist Willie Bester's life and work and would one day stand as a museum commemorating his success as one of South Africa's most prominent contemporary artists.