CIfA 2017 Award for Architecture: New Residence:191 Kloof Road, Clifton – Malan Vorster Architecture, Interior Design


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The client specifically wanted the building not to be super modern. All spaces open to terraces and courtyards that support indoor/outdoor experiences that capture the changing qualities of light and seasons.

An honest use of well detailed materials celebrates the qualities of stone, steel, timber, fine concrete, and a limited palette of finishes. A compact sequence of landscapes is created by a green terrace, pools, built planters, stone walls and a raised vegetable garden. The selection of materials – board-marked concrete, local stone, untreated cedar wood, rough-sawn oak floor planks, terrazzo floors and Cor-ten steel – will express the passing of time, with the gradual changing of the natural colour and texture of every material.

The gabion walls of the garage have been planted to become overgrown with time, and as such soften the streetscape. Seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces spill out onto a comfortable protected and landscaped courtyard that allows for maximum north exposure, rather than responding to sea views only. Similarly, the kitchen has a direct connection to the vegetable and herb garden by means of stepping-stones over a pond with a wet wall water feature.

The design is structured with a skillful layering of shading stoeps, external visually translucent patio screens, timber shutters and blinds to minimize the effects of the harsh western exposure typically problematic with properties on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard.

The entrance double volume staircase atrium opens up to the pond to the east by means of a storey-high mechanical sash window, greatly adding to natural cooling in the summer. Roof over-hangs and specifications for the glazing minimize unwanted solar heat-gain. Western exposure is regulated with external, automated drop-down screens over glazed façades. Energy consumption is minimized by means of Photovoltaic and Solar panels are linked to a centralized system for domestic water heating, waterborne under-floor and pool heating.

This is a peaceful and calm home, composed of warm and well scaled and exquisitely conceived and crafted connected spaces that flow and directly lead to gardens and courtyards or capture delightful and unexpected views and vistas from each space. The design optimizes the full use of the site in a modulated and contextually articulated building that is compact but experientially generous. The project is one of rich elegance that will continue to deliver timeless value and a setting for diverse quality of life experiences.

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