17 Glen Avenue


The structure created on the site at 17 Glen Avenue is a building that has been designed to disappear over time into its landscape. An unusual architectural statement in the high-value neighbourhood of Higgovale.

In fact, when on site, the urban environment, albeit not a densely populated one, itself disappears as one is plunged into an abundant indigenous garden replete with endemic trees, plants and small wildlife of the slopes of Table Mountain.

The structure, a very simple rectangle studio is set on the outer edge of the plot and closely hugs the natural curve of the sweeping perimeter of the site. Large-scale glass doors face onto the garden and a ‘natural’ pool carved into a massive granite rock that seems to bring the Table Mountain looming above into its own ‘back yard’.

Materials used are sympathetic to the environment and when the made-for-purpose doors stand wide-open the barrier between in and out is rendered almost invisible.

The garden is self-sustaining and needs no human intervention – leaving a single incongruity of an irrigation scheme no longer required.

The architectural intention of keeping the human intervention on the site to “simple systems and materials” has been achieved thus leaving complexity, variability and change to the dynamic ecosystem in which the building cohabits.

It must, without doubt, provide a perfect sanctuary for contemplation and creativity desired by the client.