It is of great importance to us that a building respects the rights of others, that views are not blocked and that egotistical "look at me" architecture is avoided.
House Kennedy - Saxonwold
Situated on a quiet road behind Zoo Lake in Saxonwold, the brief was for a small but spacious house for a couple with two private spare bedrooms for friends and family. Connection to the park and views to the west for the sunset were important. A gallery for their collection of paintings became the focal point, with a coral wall creating the division between the owners space, the entrance and the guest rooms. Black slate tiles were used to offest their bright oriental rugs. Finishes are natural and not shiny, as few as possible that flow from room to room - soft black, grey, rose wood, forest green glass mosaics. Rooms are linked by spaces that are multi-purpose rather than long passages - the living area linked to a bedroom thorugh a walk-through study.
Timber house - Ballots Nature Reserve
Perched on the cliffs, surrounded by indigenous forest and fynbos and overlooking the ocean, this house touches the earth as lightly as possible so that the impact on the pristine vegetation is minimized. The house is light and airy and has a strong connection with the outside - fling open the doors and windows and invite the outside in.
Views are a surprise and are enhanced through careful framing. The front deck has a dropped balustrade to allow unresctricted views down the cliffs and a small back deck neslted in the fynbos is protected from the prevailing wind.
The house had to comply with the strict building controls of 150sq metres bulk, fit in 3 bedrooms all ensuite and still give a sense of space and lightness.
Grabouw apple farm
Being on a large farm, there were many beautiful sites to postion the house. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is located on the south boundary, there are spectacular views to the west towards Sir Lowry's Pass. The challenge was to select a position where maximum advantage could be gained from the views while protecting the house from excessive heat gain. The house was postioned to face north but it takes its form from the slope with the house stepping down the site from east to west, effectively allowing the living rooms to capture the magnificnet views.
The form is derived from a traditonal farm house expanded around an internal court. Although it is a large house, it never dominates it's environment but rather compliments it. Spaces are interlinked and open plan, minimising passages. Finishes are simple and natural. The pitched ceilings create a spacious, airy interior which remains cool in summer and warm in winter.