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4 October 2004
NE woman's creative talent has found an elegant new use for Concor Technicrete's hollow blocks, originally designed to facilitate wall ventilation in underground mines.
Entrepreneur Hilmary Bam has used the blocks to produce a French Provençal look to the buildings and "village square" of her new country-style getaway - La Petite Auberge, hidden among bushveld on the edge of Witbank.
Behind the stone-like walls are en-suite bedrooms - including a honeymoon suite - dining room, bar, a large, airy room that can be conference centre or ballroom, and, just a walk across a cobbled square, a wedding chapel.
"I wanted to get a French village look to the buildings - I needed large stone-like bricks ton give them an aged, weathered look, and the Technicrete hollow blocks were exactly right," says Ms Bam.
She designed the entire complex, and did much of the brick-laying and paving with her own bare hands.
Looking around the pretty "village square", she says: "Who would have thought a, ordinary mine ventilation block could have achieved such an effect!"