River House M

St Francis Bay
Completed in 2019

Located along the Kromme river, the long narrow site held on three edges by indigenous forest, opens on the north to the river. The four bedroom holiday home for UK based clients is carved out of the thicket, sited atop the river bank with views over the river and mountains beyond. Approaching via a narrow gravel road through the indigenous forest, the solid brick forms with asymmetrical opening greet one. A large central courtyard, flanked by bedroom and service wings, slope down towards the living spaces with river views under a timber pergola brow. The bedrooms and living spaces on the rear, open up onto the courtyard and provide shelter from prevailing winds. Views of the river are accessible from deep within the courtyard space through the double sided glazed living area, that slide open entirely on perfect weather days.The extensive use of white bagged brickwork contrasted by rough sawn poplar pergolas and broad planked decking provide a textual palette with crisp modern detailing.

Collaborators: Athol Hodgkinson Engineering, Frank Silberbauer Environmental,Tarna Klitzner Landscape Architects, Dace Construction
Photography: BPA, Mark Fisher

White House

Camps Bay, Cape Town
Completed in 2019

The remodeling of this five bedroom coastal holiday home originally completed by Bert Pepler Architects in 2002 resulted in the introduction of a fresh new palette of textures and colours. The client’s brief to overhaul and restore the original structure, with the implementation of minor internal alterations, ensured the retention and integrity of the original design. A new guest cloakroom, scullery and freestanding fireplace were introduced. Externally balconies to the lower bedrooms were added, and pergolas flanking the living rooms were replaced with retractable roofs, completing the intervention. The extensive refurbishment of finishes throughout, tailored to the clients brief, enhanced the house while retaining the timeless quality of the original.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Simpson Heath QS, MRG Building
Photography: Eric Nathan, BPA

River House F

St Francis Bay
Completed in 2016

Located on the Kromme River estuary, that flows into the Indian Ocean, the house was designed as a summer retreat for a family living in London. The linear site, stretching from the road to the river allowed for slender barn type forms, positioned to create sheltered courtyards, providing protection from prevailing winds. The courtyards are divided up into an entrance space interfacing the house and the street, a landscaped bedroom courtyard and lastly the living courtyard, accommodating the entertainment functions and pool. The mandatory use of thatch and white bagged brickwork, evokes an architectural typology reminiscent of the Cape vernacular, referenced in the project. The buildings seamlessly connect to the exterior through glazed sliding doors and timber shutters that retract entirely, turning the structures into open pavilions. The house is surrounded by an indigenous landscape with trees that guide one through the site to the elevated living room terrace, where generous outdoor sitting spaces open to the view. From the poolside deck, flanked on either end by the main bedroom wing and the 18m swimming pool, timber boardwalks meander through the garden extending down to merge with the river grasses on the beach.

Collaborators: GDF Design Lab – decor, Engineering Analysis Services, Watermarque Consulting, Frank Silberbauer Environmental, Tarna Klitzner Landscape Architects, Custom Construction
Photography: Greg Cox, Bureaux, BPA

Mountain House H

Hout Bay, Cape Town
Completed in 2014

The original house, built on the steep slopes of the Constantiaberg ignored the magnificent setting, consisting of fynbos, a seasonal stream and the commanding views surrounding the site. The brief required a complete refurbishment and remodeling of the existing structure, with an emphasis on opening the house to access these views. Larger or new openings were introduce to existing bedrooms and bathrooms, while the living areas were replaced entirely, to achieve this. Sliding doors retract fully, allowing a seamless connection to covered external decks, blurring the lines between inside and out. By raising the garden level, held by the addition of a swimming pool and outdoor seating, this relationship is strengthened. Timber cladding, shutters and screens provide sun control, privacy and security while reflecting the natural setting.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Simpson Heath QS, Tarna Klitzner, Landscape Architects, Agmac Construction
Photography: Henrique Wilding, BPA

Vera School for Autism

Landsdowne, Cape Town
Completed in 2014

The existing campus, consisting of mostly single storey buildings was constructed in the early 1970’s, typical of the institutional typology common to the period and is surrounded by predominately residential suburbia. The brief was for a multifunctional vocational centre, built on a limited budget from funds acquired from the national lottery. The brick and concrete structure utilizes a geometrically square footprint making use of the economics of construction. The ground floor is divided into four symmetrical classrooms each with its own cloakroom and store, with a central foyer and generous staircase. All classrooms open to outside via doors set into a floor to ceiling glass screen with louvres, flooding the spaces with natural light. Opposite to the entrance end, a central kiosk selling produce generated in the centre, opens onto the square and where the public can interact with the students. The first floor is identical in plan, but rotated through 90 degrees, providing a further four more classrooms with multifunctional lobbies. Flexibility is an integral part of the design, where the classrooms have the ability to be enlarged via retractable sliding screens, combining space for larger groups to gather. A sculptural skylight illuminates the central staircase, landing and foyer. The facade articulation is similar on the four sides, where alternating solid and glazed panels create a uniform skin, completing the geometric form.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Simpson Heath QS, Agmac Construction
Photography: BPA, AC

Mountain House V

Higgovale, Cape Town
Completed in 2008

Set on the lower slopes of Table Mountain with magnificent views over the city, this single storey home built in the 60’s, required remodeling to accommodate the needs of its growing family. The structure, well positioned and flooded with northern light was retained but internal walls demolished, making way for enlarged living spaces. The living and dining room now straddling the entire length of the house, open onto a timber deck overlooking the pool. On the lower split level an adaptable playroom that converts into guest accommodation, opens onto the garden for easy access and play. Service spaces are restricted to the rear of the house with views of the city from deep within. Three en-suite children’s bedrooms on the lower first floor are accessed via a light steel staircase, which continues to the master suite, terminating on the roof terrace with 360 degree views of the entire city bowl. In the master suite the fireplace separating the bedroom and bathroom also serves to “tilt” the concrete roof, capturing dramatic views of the mountain from within. On both floors sliding glass doors open entirely blurring the boundaries between inside and out, while sliding timber shutters on the first floor provide privacy and screening.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Broome Simpson Heath QS, Agmac Construction
Photography: BPA, AC, Mark Fisher

Dune House

Noordhoek, Cape Town
Completed in 2007

Situated within a quiet residential neighbourhood on Cape Town’s south peninsula, the clients formerly from the UK, required a home to raise their young family. Inspired by the case study homes of the 1950’s, an L-shaped peripheral wall type structure housing the bedroom and utility spaces form a protective barrier from the prevailing summer winds, against which the living spaces are placed covered by an elevated timber roof. Within this protection, glazed panels retract entirely providing a seamless flow and magnificent views to the garden, pool and mountain above. A palette of natural materials and neutral tones complement the refined detailing throughout.

Collaborators: Rob van Loon Engineering, Broome Simpson Heath QS, Agmac Construction
Photography: Greg Cox, Alistair Berg

Hildene

Tamboerskloof, Cape Town
Completed in 2006

The house is is located on a steep narrow site, high on the slopes of Signal Hill, offering magnificent views of Table Mountain and the city bowl. To counteract the “tunnel view” created by the proximity of neighbouring houses, the bulk of the structure is placed along the front edge. Three linear forms, individually finished are stacked above each other, maximizing the view and reducing the footprint to free up space for greenery and a pool behind. A large sculptural chimney stakes the levels together, “securing” the structure to the site. From the back of the sheltered garden views of the city are visible though the transparent living spaces, opening entirely to the view. At the opposite end the garage and entrance hold the site and are connected by a slender spine building that separates the entrance from the garden and pool. The three forms at the front comprise of the living room in the centre, held by the master bedroom which appears to float above and a study and guest bedroom suite below. A palette of monochromatic shades and natural finishes permeate throughout the project. The articulation of facades in the form of either timber or translucent polycarbonate shutters offer a solution to both heat gain and privacy, providing the house with its distinct character and ever changing facade.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Broome Simpson Heath QS, Elmo Strydom Construction
Photography: Alistair Berg, Micky Hoyle, Nathalie Krag, Ryno, Piet de Beer

Mountain House M

Sivertree Estate, Tokai, Cape Town
Completed in 2003

Located within an estate, the client’s brief required a new four bedroom home from which to raise their young family. A series of walls edge the approach to the house with the mono-pitched roof demarcating the entrance. Upon entering, a central spine guides one through the living spaces, separating the private playroom, study and bedrooms. The incrementally expanding glazed living areas are edged by the pool and open to decking on the exterior under a covered pergolas with distant views of the Table Mountain chain. The inverted “butterfly” roof with clerestory glazing captures the majestic mountain views surrounding the house and allow an abundance of natural light and controlled ventilation. The additional volume in the children’s bedroom create the opportunity for sleeping lofts. A combination of natural materials permeate though the house, creating a seamless internal to external connection.

Collaborators: Rob Van Loon Engineering, Broome Simpson Heath QS, Gelbuild Construction
Photography: BPA

Strathmore

Camps Bay, Cape Town
Completed in 2002

Originally constructed as a second residence for a UK based client, this 5 bedroom home sits perched on the edge of a steep embankment with residential properties in close proximity. The “site making” is formalized by a series of parallel stone walls that cut across the site and define the entrance and route up to and through the house. Container type elements each individually articulated are stacked above. The lower more contained wing houses the guest bedrooms and entrance leading to the glazed living areas above. Sheltered covered terraces with planting flank the living spaces with access to the pool. The timber clad master bedroom with an additional bedroom is stacked above and complete the form. A centrally positioned staircase connect the three. Dramatic sweeping views from the top of table mountain, down towards the bay are captured from deep within and provide a continuous connection with the landscape, visually controlled by timber shutters and translucent screens. The palette of natural materials combined with timeless building methods complement the surrounding natural and urban environment.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Broome Simpson Heath QS, Sean Pope Construction
Photography: Craig Fraser, Jac de Villiers, BPA

City House R

Greenpoint, Cape Town
Completed in 2000

Perched on the lower slopes of Signal Hill, this compact four bedroom house optimizes the tight triangular corner site on which its located. The solid stone clad base house the garages with the entrance sited on the extremity. Two container type structures are placed above. The linear wing on the ground floor contain the bedrooms that open onto the pool terrace and is positioned longitudinally, while the living wing above is positioned perpendicularly. Steel shutters provide security and screening to the bedrooms. Slender roofs appear to float above both forms where light and views are accessible through clerestory windows. A translucent stairwell connect the two from the entrance below. Materials articulate and define the individual components on each floor. The living areas on both floors orientate towards the north, allowing natural light to fill the spaces and provide spectacular views over the city below, and the ocean and mountains beyond

Collaborators: Steven Kirkpatrick Engineering, Skandia Construction
Photography: Michael Hall

Woodford

Camps Bay, Cape Town
Completed in 1999

Fronting a green belt, this sub-divided site with pan-handle access, commands uninterrupted views of the bay below while held by the mountains behind. The client required a compact 3 bedroom home for her and her son, that fully captures the spectacular setting.The result, a modular steel frame structure placed on an elevated concrete platform allowing for expansive openings to the south west and a sheltered garden on the north. The elevated structure with pergola “brow” fronts the indigenous reserve, allowing the house to “float” above the foliage, whilst connecting and grounding the house to the garden on the rear. The light mono pitched roof plane facilitates clerestory glazing, framing views of the 12 Apostles range behind and allowing northern light to flood the living areas. Sandstone from the site is used to construct a textured wall that leads one towards the entrance. The wall separates the house into the public living areas and the private bedroom zone before culminating into the swimming pool located in front. In contrast the light steel structure assembled with innovative crisp detailing sits perched above, finished in a neutral colour palette completing the structure.

Collaborators: Niels Wieffering Enginering, Elmo Strydom Construction
Photography: Michael Hall, Warren Heath, Max Bastard

Nelson House H

Simonstown, Cape Town
Completed 1998

Orientated north, this steep elevated site, situated within an estate with architectural guidelines, overlooks False Bay, the naval base and the mountainous landscape of the South Peninsula. Prescribed pitched roofs generate gabled structures, referencing the colonial architecture prevalent to the historic town. Contemporary architectural elements and planning reference but re-interpret the Victorian structures typical to the area. The client’s brief stipulated that core living spaces be grouped together allowing ease of circulation for two people, but providing expanded accommodation when necessary. A series of rectangular shaped forms placed parallel to one another step down to follow the natural slope of the site. Each containing the requisite accommodation, the central form houses the living spaces and master bedroom opening onto a landscaped terrace and pool, sheltered from the prevailing southerly winds.The lower structure retains the garden and house two additional bedrooms and bathroom, opening onto a balcony with expansive sea views. The extensive use of shutters and shading elements control the northern light, providing security and reference the local vernacular.

Collaborators: Henry Fagan and Partners Engineering, John Greene Contractors
Photography: Harcourts

Capri

St James, Cape Town
Completed in 1997

Originally built in 1928 this home yearned for contemporary architectural intervention in order to accommodate the modern lifestyle of this young creative family. With no vehicular access, a journey via public steps and serpentine path leads to the steep site with magnificent views across the bay. The approach was to retain the external rectangular form typical to the area, while inserting contemporary elements that extend from the structure both vertically and horizontally. The addition of a main bedroom suite within the existing roofscape being the most apparent. Spaces were altered by the removal of internal walls that not only made way for large living areas, but increased sunlight to these areas throughout the day. Internal partitioning elements separate functions, but stop short of the ceiling creating the illusion of space. The first floor contains the main bedroom suite, housed under a mono-pitch roof with clerestory glazing, allowing an abundance of natural light. A palette of monochromatic colours and natural materials permeate throughout and with carefully considered detailing complete the composition.

Collaborators: Engineering Henry Fagan and Partners, John Greene Contractors
Photography: Ronnie Levitan

Twin Houses

Observatory, Cape Town
Completed in 1995

New in the old – Situated in one of Cape Town’s older suburbs, this pair of 3 bedroomed homes occupy a corner site, sub-divided from the adjoining property. The dense urban fabric consisting of predominately Victorian architecture and small industrial structures is referenced, but is reinterpreted in the contemporary response. The L-shaped forms provide privacy from the urban edge, creating sheltered courtyard gardens within for living spaces to open onto, flooding them with light. The large corrugated iron roofs housing the master bedrooms dominate the structures, reducing in scale over the entrance. The high point that houses a roof window acts as a pivotal point to the design, addressing the corner it occupies. On the mountain facing end the roofs “peel up” capturing views of Devils Peak from within. The collage of materials and textures mimic the rich fabric found in the vicinity. Internally the houses create a world of their own, with double volume living areas and views to the extremities of the site, exaggerating the perception of space. The limited palette of natural finishes define the separate zones, establishing privacy within. Large areas of glazing with fold away doors blur the boundaries between inside and out.

Collaborators: Henry Fagan and Partners, Elmo Strydom Construction
Photography: Ronnie Levitan, BPA

Primrose

Bishopscourt, Cape Town
Commenced 2009 – on going

Originally designed by Gabriel Fagan in the 1950’s, the house was sold to the current owner in the late 1960’s who over a period of time implemented small interventions to suit her needs. Having been approached in 2009 to assist with some of these, the approach is to alter, refurbish and add in a manner sympathetic and respectful of the original, while updating the finishes to current and comfortable standards. Numerous projects took place which varied in scale and resulted in positive transformation. The complete refurbishment of the main bathroom, interventions in the kitchen, study, and guest bedroom, the addition of mechanized shutters at the dining room and the upgrading of the pool area with the addition of a new terrace and pergola. Furthermore bespoke items of furniture were designed to add and complement our involvement with the interiors.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Agmac Construction, Ricardo’s Renovations
Photography: BPA

The Emergency Room

Daddy Long Legs Hotel, Cape Town
Completed in 2005

Located within the bustling urban precinct of Long Street, the owners of this unique boutique hotel approached people of various creative disciplines to conceptualize and implement a design for a 3m x 3m x 3m hotel room and bathroom, within a minute budget. The point of departure that provided the inspiration was the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, the charity of choice benefiting from proceeds generated by this room. A red cross was placed on the ceiling and repeated on the floor. Floor to ceiling mirrors connect the two crosses on the four vertical sides. The illusion creating a labyrinth of infinite wards and suddenly the room is endless. Slick red glass panels complete the four corners of the room. Found objects from hospital theaters are elevated as art forms when placed on display. Materials, images and objects reminiscent of hospital theaters reinforce the concept. “Blood”splattered screens, a surgeon’s hand and tools of the trade are contrasted and softened by the security of a nurse’s uniform and the comfort of rich fabrics. Good night………sleep tight.

Photography: DLLH

Salisbury

Bishopscourt, Cape Town
Completed in 2017

Set on expansive park-like grounds, this classically inspired home required extensive refurbishing to fulfill the needs of it’s UK based owners. The brief was for the additions to seamlessly integrate with the existing architectural language and to improve the overall composition of the structure. Multiple interventions were required throughout, including the addition of a master bedroom wing on the first floor. Along with improving the internal circulation, existing finishes were replaced throughout with careful consideration given to intricate and appropriate detailing. A new street entrance with adjoining guard house was designed to complement and add to the formal composition. Larger openings were introduced, flooding the living areas with natural light and capturing mountain views beyond. Outdoor living was encouraged with the introduction of pergola covered terraces leading onto the garden and pool and culminating on a lawned platform overlooking a stream. It is here that a future pool house with guest accommodation is planned, extending the outdoor entertainment possibilities

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Simpson Heath QS, Jo Lubbe Mech.Engineer, Moorgas and Waldron – decor, MRG Building
Photography: Greeff, MRGB, BPA

Rowan

Kenilworth, Cape Town
Completed in 2012

This Edwardian era home, located within the historical pocket of Kenilworth, sits on a large garden surrounded by established trees. Over time as prevailing styles became current a series of rather inappropriate and unsympathetic renovations took place. To expose the original structure these multiple layers required removal, clearing the slate for restoration and modification. Internally bedrooms were enlarged and repositioned, while large double doors and shutters were added to living areas, opening onto the wrap-around covered terrace and garden below. Existing components were replaced entirely with carefully considered fixtures and fittings, appropriately detailed to compliment the era with a modern twist. Separated by the pool a low slung modernist pavilion, contrasts the existing house, but sympathetically co-exists, due to the symbiotic relationship set up by the referencing of materials found on the existing house. The mainly concrete and timber-clad pavilion appears to float above the lawn while the sculptural chimney from the internal fireplace, “stakes” the structure to the ground. The pavilion is a totally versatile, multifunctional space, with kitchenette and bathroom, enabling it to serve as guest accommodation or for entertainment. Sliding glass doors and timber shutters peel back to seamlessly connect the structure to the garden. While remaining essentially respectful, the two structures complement each other, resulting in a cohesive and timeless home.

Collaborators: Engineering Analysis Services, Simpson Heath QS, Agmac Construction
Photography: Greg Cox, BPA

Garden House C

Kenilworth, Cape Town
Completed in 2008

The original house, built within the established suburb of Kenilworth, was neither heritage home nor suited the needs of this growing family and hence required replacing. Sensitive to the surrounding vernacular the house references neighbouring properties while adopting contemporary spacial planning. The L shaped building edges the site, freeing up the remainder for a garden and pool. The living spaces located along the lower wing flank the garden where fold-away doors allow access to a covered veranda and “outdoor room”. A work from home studio, conveniently adjoins the entrance opening onto a private garden court. The bedrooms and a family room are located on the first floor enjoying garden and distant mountain views. Internally contemporary interventions are contrasted with traditional detailing, finished in a palette of monochromatic colours and natural finishes.

Collaborators: Chris Meny-Gibert Engineering, Broome Simpson Heath QS, Agmac Construction
Photography: BPA