Category: Residential

House Jouissance sits high on a hill in the Cape, overlooking the Sandvlei Estuary and False Bay.

Due to the very steep site the house was conceived as a series of staggered levels cascading down the site. Whereas in modernism the floor plan was seen as the ‘generator’, ie one first got the plan right and everything else followed from that, often in contemporary architecture the section is the ‘generator’ ”. And it certainly was for this project. Even though it is relatively small in area it has 4 different levels internally – each connected to the next by half a flight of stairs, so one never really feels like you a moving from one storey to a separate up or down storey like in a typical double storey home. The floor to ceiling heights in each section are also vastly different; for example using volume rather than floor space to achieve a sense of spaciousness in the living area, whereas the kitchen and bedroom above have low ceilings, but retain a sense of spaciousness by being open to the living area large volume. So varying volumes contribute to the spacial quality more so than the plan layout.

Sustainability features include a dry composting toilet, solar water heating, a large rammed earth wall, double glazing, highly insulated timber frame walls and grey water irrigation.

The structure is a hybrid of materials, each selected for best fit for purpose. A structural steel frame allowed for minimal excavation and disturbance to the very steep site, allowing for the house to really ‘touch the earth lightly’. Lightweight timber frame walls intergrate best with the steel structural frame and allow for highly insulated walls. The rammed earth wall provides thermal mass and serves to moderate internal temperatures. Conventional concrete and brickwork were used minimally, being utilised only for the bathroom floor on the lower level and , in combination with a rib & block slab, for the garage structure.

Provision has been made for a planted green roof, which will be planted at a later stage.

CONTRACTOR

Henton Homes

CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Poise Consulting Engineers

PUBLISHED

Earthworks Magazine December 2016 House Jouissance

PLANS

Site Plan

Living Level

Bedroom Level

Section

Elevations

 

The house is situated on the bank of the Breede River and is used as a holiday house. As such the clients wanted an open plan house with an easy flow, open to both the river on the South East and to the large garden area to the North West. We used a large open kitchen / dining/ living area, with double volume above the living area to create a sociable entertainment space which extends out onto decks on both sides. An open mezzanine above the dining area is an extension of the living space and looks over the living area internally as well as opens onto the 1st floor ‘viewing deck’ on the riverside. We had a limited budget and therefore building size to work within, so our challenge was to create an arrangement of spaces that maximised living and entertainment space, views and integration with the outdoor spaces and at the same time minimising the wastage of space typically taken up be circulation. The stairway to the 1st floor area is an open stair set as a feature in the living space rather than in a stairwell and the ground floor bedrooms and bathrooms were arrange to keep the space used by passages to an absolute minimum.

CONTRACTOR

Henton Homes

CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Poise Consulting Engineers

AWARDS

ITC-SA 2015 Timber Engineered Product Awards – Gold

Situated on a steep slope over looking the Paarl valley, House Goosen is a combination of masonry construction, steel portal frames and timber framing.

The design draws from typical Cape Coastal architecture, with its dual pitch roofs and the front ‘stoep’ under the ‘afdak’ but using clean lines and minimal styling for a contemporary look. The architectural style departs from the Cape Coastal internally, with the entire living area being in one open plan volume. To achieve structural integrity with timber frame and the large open internal volume steel portal frames were used as the structural system. The contemporary styling is enhanced by leaving the structural elements exposed.

This is our first project designed in accordance with the new SANS 204 Energy Efficiency regulations, and the house features double glazing throughout, with sliding screens to control solar heat gain as well as to provide privacy.

 

The building methodology is a mix of post & beam and conventional timber framing. The living area has solid timber elements provide a logical clarity in the structure, with infill panels of either timber frame clad with fibre cement cladding or  glazed elements. With a singular plane roof over the most part of the house, differing floor levels provide hierarchy to the internal spaces. Large opening sliding and sliding folding doors make the most of the rural landscape.

Situated in the Swartland area of the Western Cape, large overhangs serve to protect from the harsh summer sun. The next phase is the addition of sliding and tilting shutters to the eastern and northern facades.

CONTRACTOR

Knysna Timber Homes

CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Poise Consulting Engineers

AWARDS

ITFB Silver Award 2012

PUBLISHED

Home  January 2014  Nature at it’s best

PLANS 

Floor Plan

Elevations

 

House Carstens is in a Nature Conservancy area near Cape Agulhus, at the southernmost tip of Africa.

The house was designed for a challenging steep sandy site, in notorious weather conditions due to it’s exposed location at the tip of Africa. The main kitchen, living areas and main bedroom are on the first floor to maximise views sea views. Covered verandas, opening up to the living area with sliding doors, to both the south and north allow for outdoor living in either of the predominant weather conditions, namely summer south easters, and cold north western in the winter months.

CONTRACTOR

Henton Homes

AWARDS

ITFB  Silver Award 2013

2007

Building contractor: Pine Homes

The house was designed for comfortable beach living, to maximise sea views to the south and out to the bay and point to the southwest, and to allow for maximum penetration of winter sunlight from the north. Horizontal forms and gently sloping mono-pitch roofs resonate with the gently sloping and undulating form of the landscape. To minimise visual impact up from the coast, the major portion of the south façade is shaded, and the colour palette was chosen to blend in with the vegetation and sand.

The house has split levels, which allow it to step down the slope following the contours of the site. Appropriate responses sought to resolve the issues of north light from behind the house, the prevailing winds, and maximising views include covered outdoor deck areas to both the north and the south of the house, and elongating the plan form on an east west axis.

The house is ‘off-grid’ and power is produced by photovoltaic panels, with a battery pack and inverter, and a silent running generator providing backup power should there not be sufficient sunlight for several days. Hot water is heated by means of a Vacuum Tube solar panel, and is circulated by a small pump also powered by a photovoltaic panel. The sewerage has been split into grey and black water and the plan is to recycle the grey water for re-use. Rainwater is harvested from the roof, with all the downpipes leading to horizontal storage tanks fitted below the house.

PUBLISHED

SA Timber Homes & Projects, Issue 11, 1/2008  House Orban

2006

Building Contractor: Knysna Timber Homes

The design concept was informed by the clients brief of maximising views of the Knysna estuary to south, the site presenting the constraints of being narrow and steeply south sloping, and our aim of maximising north light in winter to what would otherwise have been a cold south facing house. Contextual issues resulting from the steep southward slope of the site largely drove the resultant design. To remain within the regulation 8m height restriction offset vertically from all parts of the natural ground level, the pitch of the mono-pitch roof forms closely corresponding the slope of the ground below. To maximise views to the south and light from the north the house was spread over the full width of the site in an east west direction.

The house is a hybrid of timber frame and conventional masonry construction. The bathrooms, kitchen and garage above are on the north side. As a result of the slope and to facilitate solar passive heating and cooling the southern section of the house is constructed with well insulated timber frame construction, elevated above the ground on posts, while the northern service elements of the building, which were cut into the site, are built of conventional masonry construction, which serves as a massing element to take advantage of diurnal temperature fluctuations.

The house sits tightly nestled in amongst the vegetation and the decks were built to accommodate a large Fig tree whose branches have been allowed to continue through openings in the decking. Following the contours of the site closely the double storey house has split levels on each floor all connected via a central open stairwell.

House Hussey was designed by Jacques Cronje he was while a member of Tradon Architects and Consultants cc.

PUBLISHED

SA Timber Homes & Projects magazine Summer 2007 House Hussey

2011

Tofo, Mozambique

This is also a totally off the grid. An interesting design challenge was intergrating the PV panels into the traditional Mocambican that roof.

The walls were done as an insulated panel covered in ply sheathing, with reflective foil insulation to the outside. This is covered by timber cladding on battens creating an open cavity where warm air can rise up behind of the cladding and out of the wall. The client recently informed me that walking in to the house on a day of 30deg outside felt like walking into a cool air-conditioned space.

Published | Online

Inhabitat.com  awe-inspiring thatched mozambique home is draped in solar panels

Published | Print Media 

Timber IQ Magazine Dec 2012  House Wessels

2008

Contractor: Cosy Homes

The site is situated in a coastal conservancy area on the Garden Route coast. The site slopes gently from the west down towards the road frontage and sea views to the east. In response to a low 7.5m height restriction applicable to the area, the design of the mono-pitch main roof slopes up gently following the natural slope of the ground. A lower roof along the back of the house with clerestory windows above will bring natural light into the top floor and double volume dining area of the house from the north west. Deep eaves overhangs will favour winter light and provide shade from midday summer sun.  Typical of most sea view sites along the Garden Route the low winter sunlight is from behind the house, so a glazed stairwell has been incorporated on the north west into the living areas on the ground level.

PUBLISHED

Technology in Architecture & Design magazine July / August 2012    TIMBER_FEATURE TIA 2012

2012

Contractor: MG Projects

The site is north facing so the house is perfectly orientated to north. Due to the lack of available services on the site the client opted for a totally of grid house. PV panels provide electricity with a backup generator. Water is extracted from a borehole and there is a biolytical sewerage treatment system.

The house is super insulated with double glazing throughout to minimize any load on the PV system in terms of heating or cooling requirements

PUBLISHED

Technology in Architecture & Design magazine July / August 2012    TIMBER_FEATURE TIA 2012

2010

The house is situated on the southernmost side of Vleesbaai, a unique stretch of coastline in the Southern Cape in that it has sea views over the bay to the north.

The shape of the site, being elongated on a north-south axis, with a narrow sea frontage, informed the open plan layout with the living areas and three bedrooms all tightly being positioned against the north façade. The L-shape created by extending the main bedroom, with adjacant built-in braai, further out to the north creates a covered outdoor deck protected from the south-easter. Narrow sites often mean close proximity to neighbours, and to maintain privacy to the deck, a screen, with vertical angled slats, extends along the western edge of the deck, affording bay views to the north west while maintaining complete privacy from the west.

Due to the steep slope from the road down to the site, the garage was positioned higher than the ground level of the house, with internal steps from the garage providing direct access to the scullery. The design had to comply with the estate development’s strict architectural guidelines, and to remain within height restriction the upper level was designed to fit within the roof space. The solar panels for hot water heating have been positioned to be well concealed from view above the gables on the northern side of the roof.

Care was taken in the design to ensure that every bit of space was utilised efficiently; the roofspace above the garage, which is accessed from the first floor, is a childrens playroom, the passage to the guest loo doubles up as a study, and the area below the stairway is a storeroom. The open plan layouts with rooms and service areas leading directly off living areas has resulted in their being almost no passages.

There were many good reasons, other than the obvious environmental and insulation advantages, to chose timber frame as a method of construction for this project: the design guidelines, in seeking to achieve a ‘Cape Cod’ type look, encouraged the use of horizontal shiplap cladding; the quicker construction time of timber frame was a benefit to the owners who had use of their house much sooner than had it been built of brick, and the founding on a sandy site favoured timber foundation posts over conventional concrete footings – other than for the garage base which was built on reinforced concrete foundations.

CONTRACTOR

Cosy Homes

PUBLISHED

Timber IQ Magazine March 2012 TiQ MAR 2012 House Marais

Technology in Architecture & Design magazine July / August 2012    TIMBER_FEATURE TIA 2012

Home  January 2014  Beach house bliss

2010

Contractor: Noggin Homes

The site is situated in a coastal nature conservancy on the Garden Route coast. The site slopes down steeply to the east with sea views to the east and access from the west. The proposed house will be cut into the site along the west to minimise visual impact along the skyline and from the neighbouring properties. The nature conservancy’s guidelines allow a maxumum floor area of 150sq.m, so maximum use had to be made of every sq.m in the design.

The winter wind is predominantly from the south west and the summer wind from the south east. There is thicket of dense coastal shrubbery to the north west of the site, which will be left intact, both in terms of conservation as well as to provide privacy to living areas which can open up northwards & westwards onto the vegetation. The house is stretched out North-South to follow the contours of the site & maximise exposure to east views from all living areas and bedrooms; a covered deck to the northwest provides a sheltered summer option when the south easter blows and a sunny winter outdoor area, as well as a connection to the natural vegetation in that corner and a secluded access point to the pool.

Large sliding door openings to the east and west will allow a cooling breeze through the house, and slatted shutters to the west will allow ventilation and shading simultaneously.

PUBLISHED

Technology in Architecture & Design magazine July / August 2012    TIMBER_FEATURE TIA 2012

AWARDS

ITFB Gold Award 2010