scott gass


Hillside, South Africa by GASS Architecture Studios | via

Situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountains in Stellenbosch and nestled between rolling vineyards, a koppie (small granite hill) and a river below, Hillside is simultaneously arresting and juxtaposed as fits flawlessly into its surroundings.

You approach the house up a steep driveway meandering through the vineyards. The driveway and the forecourt are a modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse. This is characterised overall by the planning of the house’s location but also more specifically by the gravel driveway, expansive forecourt, drive-in open garaging reminiscent of a barn and water feature evocative of an animal’s drinking trough. This modern drinking trough is then fed by a modernist architectural waterspout from the roof of the house.

These farmhouse characteristics are not just visual either. Other senses are also stimulated: your scent is stimulated by the smells of the farmlands and rural surrounding as is your auditory sense when you hear the gravel beneath the car’s tires.

There is a genuine sense of arrival every time you visit Hillside. Access to the front door is gained from a double-sided staircase from left or right of the gravel arrivals courtyard. This short stairway is a nod to the Colonial influence of traditional Cape vernacular typical to architecture seen in the Cape (many buildings in and around Cape Town like The Castle of Good Hope, the City Hall and Tokai Manor House, for example, boast this kind of double-sided arrival staircase).

Photography: Kate Del Fante Scott

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The survival of the sea turtle - Scott Gass


The survival of the sea turtle - Scott Gass (by TED-Ed)


How big is the ocean? - Scott Gass

2015 Swamp Classic Criterium via Pioneer MortgageTeam Member Eric Stubbs

Pioneer Mortgage showed serious skills in the tough cobblestone criterium. Even early in the race, the team lined up on the front to control the pace and keep break aways close. Lots of photos show that we managed to stay close enough together to communicate - and close enough to the front to monitor the race. David did plenty of work early, but still managed to be in the breakaway that got the biggest gap of the day. Uber rider Mac Brennan (Hincape Devo) was forced to burn some matches bringing the move back.

Each of us created or joined promising breakaways - but it ended as a sprint. Jason, David, and Scott were gassed from the efforts, but Rolly and I (after some help from Jason) stayed close to the front. Rolly got crowded to the outside, while I followed Sebastian Morfin (Stradalli) and Mac Brennan through the final turns in 3rd place, hoping Rolly was close behind for a lead out.

Unfortunately, the last turns are always at a higher speed, and I foolishly started pedaling to early and my pedal hit the ground, making my back wheel hop. Luckily I stayed upright, but my focus was ruined. I accelerated out of the turn, legs screaming, before completely giving up due to my crushed mental game and fatigue from the collegiate race in the morning. Rolly (who also raced in the morning) sprinted by for 9th place - the sprint was close enough that the top 10 riders crossed the line within a second. Lessons: 1. The results don’t always show how well a team raced. 2. Never give up.