“MUD” the building, was designed and built as an art gallery and got its name from the material which makes up the primary building material.
When first seeing MUD the most striking feature is the domed archway at the entrance. There are altogether three domed areas forming the entrance foyer area and they give a striking and dramatic effect when entering MUD. Their effect though, is not only aesthetic. They have a practical use as well. Above the domes is the upstairs prive roof garden, with its 360 degree view of the Barrydale and the surrounding hills.
The property on which MUD stands was initially a large empty space, and Carol Morris, who owned it, felt strongly about eco-building viz: building in a way that utilized as much natural materials as possible obtainable from the local area.
At the time there were surprisingly few buildings making use of the abundance of slate-like flat stone in the area. Andy Horn (Eco Design Architects), was approached to design an art gallery using these natural materials. The result was the sturdily thick walls housing the high volume space, with the enticing court yard, so very necessary in hot drier climates, as well as kitchen area and foyer space. All the exterior walls of MUD are built with this stone using a mud mix as the mortar, and the interior walls are thickly plastered in mud. The colour of the walls is the natural clay colour, and no paint has been applied to the mud walling. Toxins have been avoided wherever possible and the wooden beams have also been naturally treated.
Clarke of the Karoo Restaurant Barrydale is now located in the Mud Gallery
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