House Shaw

house shaw
tamboerskloof, cape town

The site is framed between two existing houses and falls very steeply from south to north. The approach is from Leeukloof drive. Due to the nature of the steep topography in this area most houses are in effect more like apartments in that they lack gardens or swimming pools. In order to confront this problem the bulk of the building was built as far forward from the road as possible and accessed via a timber bridge. This concept allowed for a small level garden and swimming pool to be created in the remaining void. The timber bridge spans over the pool, and is the only access to the front door. On entering the house, the view is unexpectedly held back and only experienced once inside the living or dinning rooms - adding a sense of mystery and anticipation. The upper level is dedicated to the living area and is designed into two pavilions each with their own lean - too metal roofs, which offer selected views of the cable car on Table Mountain and Lions Head to the west. These pavilions are treated in a very light and transparent manner, both visually and in the choice of materials. Internal timber screens separate the different living spaces yet do not fully enclose them. It was important for the living room to be transparent so that from the swimming pool area one can still experience the city views beyond; this is emphasized further at night. The lower level accommodates the sleeping areas; these are treated in the opposite manner to the upper level. The construction technology is more conventional with the use of thick brick walls making the space more private and intimate. The house is carefully detailed in particular the interface and junctions between the steel, timber and glass, which is resolved in an elegant manner.

site: 688 sq.m.
building: 243 sq.m.
project architect: paolo deliperi
structural engineer: gadomski engineers
contractor: warren dan construction
photography: paolo deliperi
media: article 1

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