79 Brommersvlei Road
This three bedroom open plan house is a study of understated elegance. Located in an existing neighbourhood, the residence is placed in such a way that one is unaware of its suburban position. A high concrete wall screens it visually and acoustically from the road. Consequently the house can open completely to the south, drawing into it beautiful views of a wooded riverside garden in the Constantia Valley, and merging the interior with a fairly intact section of natural vegetation. The house thus becomes a filter for nature.
The house sits under a gently sloping concrete roof (three degrees), from which all the water is collected. The thick roof, insulated floor and walls, double glazing and fire place regulates the temperature remarkably well. The minimalist detailing of the interior is restrained, allowing the sumptuous exterior views to dominate.
The materiality and tectonics are palpable. Pine planks used to shutter the concrete is cut to form raised walkways through the garden. Material choices are purposely limited, the ceilings are uncluttered by light fittings and linear skylights provide extra light where necessary.
The architect’s refined use of materials coupled with the sophisticated way in which he achieves transparency and connects the building with its surroundings, makes this a worthy recipient for a CIfA Award for Architecture.