"Bordeaux" building, 239 Beach Road, corner Oliver Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, designed by Eddie Albert of Eddie Albert & Ivan Szöke (1913-1963) Architects. Eddie Albert retired about in 2002. He passed away a few years ago. They also designed Tretchikoff, the painter’s house in Bishopscourt (he had his studio in Constantia Nek, Erf 839 Rhodes Drive). Imre designed also a building in the city in Wale Street.

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Hans R van der Woude on September 11, 2013

Imre Szöke was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1913, and emigrated to SA in the 30’s. He was a sapper in the SA army and served in North Africa and Italy during WW2. After demobbing he met and married a South African, & had two children, twins, born in 1951 He died in 1963 in a car accident. He travelled extensively before settling in SA, and studied architecture in a Budapest polytechnic college. He was also a gifted linguist and was fluent in many languages.

Hans R van der Woude on September 11, 2013



Hans R van der Woude on September 11, 2013

Graaf's Pool in Cape Town

If you ever travel in the Sea Point area of Cape Town and are passing the Bordeaux flats complex on the beachfront then stop in front of the building and ponder about the following. The Bordeaux apartment building used to be a family mansion originally owned by the Marais family, hence the naming of Marais Road on the one side of the present day building. The Marais family named the original mansion Bordeaux in honour of their French heritage. The mansion was bought from the Marais family by the Graaf family who became well known in SA political circles for many years thereafter. Lady Graaf, who stayed in the Bordeaux mansion, used to on a daily basis cross the gravel road in front of her home so as to go swim in the sea for health purposes. There was however a railway / tram line on the beachfront that used to obstruct her path of travel to the beach. To accommodate this problem her husband built an underground tunnel from the Bordeaux mansion to the natural pool where she bathed daily. This pool is today known as Graaf's Pool and is used as a male nudist swimming pool while the "secret" underground tunnel still exists and runs under the Sea Point's Beach Road. If you don't believe me then when you do visit the area walk down to Graaf's Pool and as you go down the steps from the promenade look to your right and you will see the entrance to the tunnel boarded up in the beachfront wall.


Hans R van der Woude on September 11, 2013



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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 10, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Hans R van der Woude
    • Camera: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. E-510
    • Taken on 2013/07/31 15:31:33
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 28.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/9.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash