House Leech & Vaughan-Scott is a private residence, situated on the slopes overlooking Hout Bay in the Ruyteplaats Private Mountain Estate.
The brief was for a contemporary, easy living home, with a high level of finishes and largely self-sufficient with regards services.
Contextual factors informing the design included the steep site, the requirement for a pitched roof and a lower than usual height restriction in the estate guidelines, North orientation to the back of the site, views across the bay to the South, and wanting to respond to the high mountains behind. The synthesis of these factors led us to the concept of a monopitch roof corresponding to the slope of the site up to the North, clerestory windows for North light and to catch mountain views, and the living area opening to both sides; to the views to the South, and shaded entertainment areas to the North. Wanting to avoid the feeling of disconnected floor levels levels I opted for splitting the levels, so that there are essential five levels, each only half a flight of stairs apart alternating off a central stairwell.
Energy efficiency and self-sufficient sustainability played a central role. The windows are double glazed inward opening, with aluminium frames containing thermal breaks. There is a 3-phase grid tied Photovoltaic electric system with 90% of the electricity coming from solar. Borehole water supplies all of the water requirements; for irrigation, the pool and via an extensive filtering process is pumped into the house for all household and drinking water.
There is a high level of technology integrated into the house; a smart home system provides control to all the lighting, appliances, door & gate control, as well as the PV system, security and irrigation.
The building structure is conventional brick and mortar, with elements of concrete frame and suspended concrete slabs, with a portal steel structure for the roof.