DNA Photographers are a Cape Town-based but regularly travelling husband and wife team, Desmond Louw and Antonia Heil, who use a photojournalistic approach to tell stories about people and places. They sent us one of their latest stories, a photo essay on and interview with another creative couple, the celebrated Gawie and Gwen Fagan behind Gabriël Fagan Architects, a number of published books, and three honorary doctorates. The piece was created for international interview magazine Freunde von Freunden, meaning friends of friends, a platform that portrays people of diverse creative and cultural backgrounds in their homes and within their daily working environments. DNA visited the Fagan’s iconic self-built home, ‘Die Es’ (the hearth), in Camps Bay, Cape Town, which they built with their four children in the late 1960s. The original design was drawn by Gawie on a cigarette box when the idea struck and there wasn’t paper in reach.
Both close to 90 years old, Gawie and Gwen still go in to the office every day and have no foreseeable plans for retiring – but they might consider it when they turn 100.
Wanting to portray their lives and work in a meaningful way, Antonia did a lot of research speaking with many Cape Town architects about how the Fagans serve as role models and revolutionaries, still on top of the game and setting trends today. The result is an authentic and inspiring look at two incredible lives lived together in a remarkable home. She says, “What I think is outstanding that the Fagans always find a way when there is no way. No one wanted to publish their books so they did it themselves.” Find the full interview at www.freundevonfreunden.com.
Photography: Desmond Louw & Antonia Heil
Interview: Antonia Heil