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a singular practice

Creating meaningful residential architecture is both challenging and demanding, as such, the practice specializes almost exclusively in design for habitation, whether in an urban, suburban or rural context. Paolo’s attention to the disciplines surrounding the built environment is integral in creating a dialogue between the architecture, landscape and interior design so that all disciplines are viewed holistically. The practice focuses on new builds as well as inspiring renovations, all from the comfort of his studio in Alphen, Cape Town.

His working methods favour a one-man boutique practice. His reluctance to grow his practice in a more conventional manner means that he has to be disciplined when selecting work as only a handful of projects are undertaken by the practice at any given time. When Paolo started out, he made the conscious decision that he wanted to design amazing places. He did not want to be a gun for hire and choosing a small number of special projects is an important aspect of what he does. As such, clients are sometimes subjected to a short waiting list or referred to other architects. All of his building projects are conceptualized, designed, drawn up, documented, supervised on-site and finally photographed exclusively by himself. In so doing, he takes sole responsibility for every project, in every detail, from conception to completion. His passion and love for what he does is evident in every project.

The practice is a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa and is registered as a member of the South African Institute of Architects, the Cape Institute for Architecture and the South African Council for the Architectural Profession. The practice is underwritten and covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance.

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Paolo Deliperi Architect Studio

paolo deliperi

Paolo Deliperi immigrated with his family to South Africa in his early years from his native Italy. After having completed only his first year at Wits University, he continued and completed his studies at the University of Cape Town. In his practical year, he worked at the renowned international firm Gregotti Associati in Milan. His degree was awarded with distinction and Cum Lauda and he was elected for the Deans Merit list. He was also awarded the Harry Crossly bursary, a single bursary open to all faculties at the University of Cape Town, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs bursary as well as the Helen Gardner travel prize.

After the completion of his Bachelor of Architecture degree in South Africa, he furthered his education at the international school, Domus Academy, in Milan earning his Masters degree with distinction.

Thereafter he returned to South Africa to concentrate on gaining more practical experience, which he did with the award-winning firm of the then Louw, Apostolelis + Bergenthuin architects in Johannesburg. After three years, he returned to Cape Town and in 1998 co-founded Deliperi + Vatteroni Architects. In 2003 he set up his solo practice as Paolo Deliperi Architect, which, after having built his own house, he runs from his home studio in Constantia, Cape Town.

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the virtue of simplicity

Award-winning architect, Paolo Deliperi, comes to intuitively understand the potential of the site and client requirements in such a way that his buildings and the spaces between and around them represent the poetry of the location. A strong, simple and clearly defined concept forms the foundation of all Paolo’s work. His commitment to the environment creates buildings with a sophisticated balance within their context; his homes become part of their natural setting, never outshining nor being overshadowed. The role of place, nature and materials form an integral part of his architectural vocabulary. Paolo steps lightly and cares deeply; from the outset, his projects have worked with the first principle of energy efficiency and sustainability.

The word “style” per se does not interest him. Paolo strives to make architecture that is enriched by the innate uniqueness of location and landscape, the movement of the sun, changes in the weather and the precise and sensuous choice of materials. His buildings strive to engage the senses – they are sensually abundant. He is more interested in the emotional and experiential response his work will evoke as opposed to buildings that are cerebral or architecturally intellectual. His approach is to bring these elements together in such a way so as to blur the boundaries between inside and outside, often designing part of the building mass right to the edge of the site thus creating spaces in between in the form of courtyards or outdoor rooms – providing a sense of enclosure to outdoor spaces. Paolo explores the potential of natural light and all its variability by playing with opacities and transparency, solid and void, weight and lightness, having even designed his architectural studio using the same principles.

Photography is a fantastic medium to capture a moment in time, but for architecture to be truly understood, it must be experienced.

I am fascinated by light, terminating on all that it touches, as it finds its resting place from a source billions of miles away.

I strive to make my buildings simple yet expressive, refined and pared down to essentials - the irony is not lost on me that this itself is a complicated process.