Tag: timber frame architecture

Admirals View is a residential development of comprising of three buildings housing a total of 8 sectional title units, situated in the quiet seaside village of Brenton on Sea, near Knysna. 

The original four buildings on the site were destroyed in the Knysna Fire of 2017, and the brief was to re-design three buildings to replace these. This resulted in the very unusual circumstance of the trustees of a body corporate, for buildings that currently no longer existed, being the client for the re-build. It was unusual in that typically when designing a multi-unit residential project, the client would be a developer and the buildings’ occupants would only be involved in the later aspects of the design, for example choice of finishes or customizing interiors. In this instance the problem was that we had six different clients (two had two units each), each with their own preferences and tastes, to guide into a solution that everyone would be happy with, plus keeping a coherence to the design rather than having 6 different typologies of building.  

Whereas, under normal circumstances we pride ourselves on developing a unique architecture rooted in site and context without subscribing to a stylistic convention, in this instance we came to a conclusion that a stylisticly informed design would be the best resolution to the problem of having 6 vastly different clients for one project. With this approach we had only initially to get buy in from all on a look and feel of the whole project. 

Another factor to consider in the initial conceptualization was urban relationship to the surrounding properties. Although we were on Resort Zoned property, the surrounding properties were all residential in nature, so a residential scale development was deemed to be the most appropriate. After several meetings with the trustees of the body corporate and various proposal on an appropriate architecture, we settled on the typical ‘Cape Coastal’ vernacular – a residential style with roots in Victorian architecture, which has much precedent and popularity along the Garden Route coast.  The clients approved the proposal and the next step was to develop a set of design guidelines within which to work, and for the trustees to agree on – to keep an architectural  coherence to the project – which proved very useful during design development process, in for example keeping all windows to similar proportions when several clients were requesting all manner of shapes and sizes. 

Due to the immense time pressure to get the project completed; the clients has lost their homes in the fire, insurance had taken awhile to pay out, and their insurance cover for temporary accommodation while they re-built was running out – the entire project had to be fast tracked. And to accommodate a minimum construction time on site timber frame construction was decided on from the outset as the preferred construction technology. 

Timber frame as a method of construction intergrated well with Cape Coastal style, and fibre cement cladding, aluminium windows and doors, and pre-coated roofsheets were proposed to minimise maintenance. 

Computer modelling & presentation, for which we used Archicad, proved extremely useful in showing clients exactly what they were getting and enabling most changes to be made while still in the early design stages. As a result there were minimal variation orders made during the construction  phase. To enable fast tracking, we designed the timber walling and flooring structure using specialised timber detailing software, Archiframe. This enabled to contractor to pre-cut and pre-assemble the timber frame wall panels in a factory, needing only to be assembled on site.  

CONTRACTOR

T & B Construction

CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Hofmeyr & Associates Consulting Engineers Knysna

Blackwood Studio is set high on the mountain slopes of Hout Bay with panoramic views across the valley to the mountains of the 12 Apostles.

It is an example of creating a generous and spacious interior living space with a small footprint – in this case with a building area of under 50 sq.m. The main rectangular form, with its high mono-pitched roof with clerestory windows along the back and large glass sliding doors along the front add to the sense of spaciousness. A secondary lower form along the back, with a lean-to roof, accommodates the kitchenette, a storage area (accessible from the outside & providing space for a future PV System), and the bathroom, keeping the main volume open and free of these ‘utility’ spaces. Even the bath, set in the corner of the main volume, doesn’t detract from the spaciousness as its sunken – set flush with the floor – so that one gets a clear view over it though the corner windows.

The structural system is timber frame on a suspended timber floor structure on timber posts, which was the ideal solution for the steep site. The deck steps 2 steps down from the main floor level, which had the dual purpose of bringing it closer to the natural ground level visually and dropping the balustrade handrail below ones line of site when taking in the valley views from inside. Sliding slatted timber shutters provide shading and privacy to the expansive glass sliding doors, doing away with the need for interior blinds or curtains.

Blackwood Studio is available for holiday rentals – Air BnB

CONTRACTOR

Logo Homes

CONSULTING ENGINEERS

Poise Consulting Engineers

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