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.
Knysna Timber Homes
SA Timber Homes & Projects magazine Summer 2007 House Hussey