House Jack is a contemporary coastal home in Vermont, near Hermanus. The brief was for an open plan two bedroom home.
As often is the case with coastal homes on the East coast of South Africa, the sea views, prevailing winds and optimal orientation to north for natural sunlight are often at odds. In this case the sea views are to the South East, which is also the direction where the predominent summer wind comes from. And the much needed winter sunlight coming from the ‘back’ of the house, from the road side. This was resolved by having an L-shaped layout and opening the living and kitchen area to an external ‘courtyard’ to the North West, creating an outside entertainment area protected from the wind and filled with low angled winter sunlight. And the living area has a mono-pitch roof sloping up to the North West, with a row of high level windows allow the space to fill with sunlight in Winter.
The site has a grove of Milkwood trees in the North Western portion. The L-shape design allowed us to leave that portion of the site untouched, providing a solution to having the least impact on the Milkwoods.
A feature of the home is a sliding door across the full width of the living area, which slides away into a cavity. When fully open, this allows the entire living room area to open up to the seaside deck with no visible glass.
The structure, called hybrid construction, is combination of conventional masonry construction, with suspended concrete slabs, steel columns supporting a flat conctrete roof and timber clad timber frame walls.