This passive solar new-build house on the edge of the Great Karoo desert in South Africa acts as a poetic and flexible agricultural object. Located on the outskirts of the town of Prince Albert, at the foot of the Swartberg Pass, a World Heritage site, the shifted geometries of the plan are a consequence of arranging the spaces in response to the surrounding landscape. A harvester of light and air, adjusted by its inhabitants in response to the changing natural elements. The brief demanded that the house bring the inhabitants into a closer relationship with the natural world. Enhancing their awareness of the spectacular natural landscape of the Swartberg and the Karoo. With significant changes in light, heat and wind, at different times of day and during different seasons; a ‘fabric first’ approach was adopted to the design and planning of the house; a focus on passive, rather than an active means to heat and cool the building.
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