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  1. ArchDaily
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  5. Metropolis Design
  6. 2014
  7. House in Constantia Valley / Metropolis Design

House in Constantia Valley / Metropolis Design

  • 02:00 - 12 September, 2016
House in Constantia Valley / Metropolis Design
House in Constantia Valley / Metropolis Design, © Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY © Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY © Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY © Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY + 24

  • Quantity Surveyors

    Prodigious - Roelof Delport
  • Structural Engineer

    Sutherland & Associates (Pty)Ltd - Justin Arendse
  • Contractor

    HFO Construction - Riaan Louwrens
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

Text description provided by the architects. Introduction

This new residence, located on a beautiful wooded riverside site in the Constantia Valley, attempts to establish a close relationship with a relatively unspoilt piece of the natural environment.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

Site and Context

The site, subdivided off from a larger estate, and originally containing lawns and a tennis court, has a gentle fall to a beautiful stream to the south, which hosts a variety of birds and wildlife. It is entirely surrounded by tall well-established trees. As a result, despite being located on a relatively busy suburban road, the site is visually completely secluded, a ’clearing in the forest’, offering a unique set of opportunities for transparency and continuity with its surroundings.

Site Plan
Site Plan

In terms of NEMA legislation, the house was required to be set back 30m from the stream. The site between house and stream was rehabilitated: the tennis court and lawns were removed and replaced with an indigenous garden, accessed by elevated timber boardwalks and flowing continuously into the lush riverbank vegetation.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

Brief

The clients, a couple with grown children, require a 3- bedroom, open plan house for themselves and occasional guests.

The brief focused on simplicity of lifestyle, ease of use, the pleasure of well-crafted natural materials and directness of experience of the natural surroundings.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

Concept

The green wall of trees surrounding the site, were seen as the living perimeter of the house, with the roof expressed as a long continuous inclined plane falling with the slope of the site and forming an evocation of tree canopy, over a free-flowing ground plane. The single storey structure hugs the ground plane and is glazed extensively, to establish contact with the outdoors all round. The street edge is protected by a massive concrete wall, which is designed to reflect road noise from the living areas.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

Program and Organisation

The house is arranged linearly, parallel to the river on the south and opening up to the sun along its entire length to the north. The living accommodation is positioned closer to Brommersvlei Road to the east, with the bedroom section on the interior of the site. The house pivots around a well-established oak tree, which deforms what could have been an idealized floor plan and establishes the idea of a resurgent nature as the primary element on the site.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

The single storey structure hugs the ground plane and is glazed extensively, to establish contact with the outdoors all round. The street edge is protected by a massive concrete wall, which is designed to reflect road noise from the living areas.

A series of courtyards and patios, each offering a different experience of site and different degrees of sun exposure and wind protection at different times of the year, focus each grouping of accommodation.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

The entrance court, a roughly square piazza- sized space, bounded by massive concrete and stone elements, is intended to establish an atmosphere of tranquility and silence as the prevalent mood of the house.

The kitchen and dining room open entirely onto a covered braai patio and the lounge is bounded by two courtyards, one planted and one containing a long natural pond.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

The entire south façade has an extended timber patio, which forms an interface between interior floor-plane and garden.

Circulation is structured by two cross-axes, both of which start and terminate in the landscape and which are formed by long wall elements.

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

All the wall elements of the house are detached from the roof and extend out into the landscape to enclose outdoor space and blur the distinction between inside and outside

© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY
Cite: "House in Constantia Valley / Metropolis Design" 12 Sep 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/794934/house-in-constantia-valley-metropolis-design/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Wieland Gleich - ARCHIGRAPHY

康斯坦夏谷之屋 / 大都会设计(Metropolis Design)