Restoration of The Owl House

the owl house sculpture yard South Africa

CHRYSO® and a.b.e® got involved in the restoration of The Owl House. The Owl House is a museum in Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Visitors stray off the N9 National Road past the Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet to see the many cement owls with glass bottle eyes.

Created by Helen Martins between 1945 and 1976. Driven to transform her dull life, Miss Helen employed local labourers to create the many sculptures. Transforming humble materials such as glass, cement, mirrors and mirror into a magical artful world.

the owl house Helen Martins sculptures Graaff-Reniet

The custodians of The Owl House wanted to breath new life into the artworks. CHRYSO® and a.b.e® were recommended by Daniel van der Merwe of Leaf Architects and Landscapers to get involved in the restoration of the Owl House, currently rated as one of the top tourist destinations in the Eastern Cape. It was declared in 2019 a national heritage site.

Products used were dura.®rep ZR Primer – an anti-corrosive primer for exposed rebar. epidermix 344 – structural wet/dry epoxy adhesive for bonding ‘fresh’ to old concrete dura.®rep FR – fibre reinforced structural repair mortar for concrete reinstatement. epidermix 318 – epoxy mortar. abe® silocoat – cementitious based waterproofing slurry.

The repair and protection of this tourist attraction will keep the historical and architectural integrity of the small town for years to come.



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