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Residential - House

Rooi Els, Western Cape, South Africa

2022 - Concept

The Rooi Els site is situated between the mountains and the sea. The property features beautiful fynbos and granite boulders which needed to be retained and incorporated into the design. The client brief was to design a house for retirement; one that sits comfortably in the landscape, blends into the natural surroundings and captures all the important views; the main ones being the ocean and greater False Bay and the iconic Rooi Els mountain in the background.

The central living area of this 250m2 house is a double volume space, with master and guest bedrooms on the upper level. An elegant stairway leads onto a bridge platform that houses a library collection. Round porthole windows are features in the design, most notably at the front door. These are reminiscent of the nautical heritage of the Overstrand coastline. Generous external stoeps, decking and braai areas wrap around the house on three sides, capturing different views and providing a choice of sheltered entertainment areas depending on the direction of the prevailing wind.

An important part of the brief was to incorporate green aspects into the design. Solar panels fit comfortably on the roof structure; there are water tanks at the back of the site to harvest rainwater to be used in times of drought.

There are clever shading devices and canopies on the western façade to shield the living areas from the harsh sunlight. Cross-laminated timber construction was investigated for the upper level: not only is this a green building material with warm finishes, but it will also reduce construction time.

Materiality was achieved by offsetting rough and cool materials such as bagged brickwork and exposed aggregate concrete slabs, contrasting with smooth and warm materials – such as the timber features and smooth green plastered walls. The end result is a building that sits comfortably in the landscape and blends into the fynbos surrounds.


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