The Western Cape in South Africa has the most beautiful coastal landscapes. Beach houses that integrate coastal elements and accommodate leisure are a strong feature of Jenny's work. Beach living presents many challenges which require adept design and diligence to resolve.
Nestled in the sensitive slopes of the Clifton Bungalow area, the Clifton Beach cottage interacts delicately with its surroundings. It forms part of the picturesque Clifton beach landscape and offers secluded beach living. With the preservation of the existing environment being a key factor, the architect and client worked together to create a building which responded sensitively to its environment. The use of the site with its gentle presence is of value and unusual in Clifton which was achieved through a series of carefully articulated design decisions.
The building is embedded in its site, it is visible as a subtle change in textures and shapes. The roof shapes step back and the different sections are tiered to ensure only one or two profiles are visible. The scale and height of the building is perceived as a low scale bungalow/simple beach cottage of one storey, yet it has three storeys. The landscaping is integral to its quiet, hidden presence. Fringe planting blurs boundaries from a distance or when walking on footpaths. The materials and finishes of the house are natural and have been considered and carefully chosen to weather into the landscape over time. There are no light exterior colours and the warm natural tones, timber cladding and timber shingle roof texture blend the house into the environment.
Hope & Warren Quantity Surveyors
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This award-winning house design is situated in the Clifton Bungalow area. Clifton 475 House challenges the intricate Clifton Beach site constraints. Using the site as a basis, the design is not defined by its environment, but instead is the best possible response to it.
It is both highly visible and private, being one of the few sites in the bungalow area to have a large garden. There are particular privacy and view patterns for each room. The heights and positioning of windows are set to frame views precisely, and to exclude the ever-present public traffic to and from the beach.
Within these constraints, it was sought to create a sculptural contemporary building sensitive to its context but free from style imitation. The pre-determined envelope set out a double storey rear and single storey sea/garden front. The Great South African Stoep is celebrated onto the glorious garden – a jewel in this context. Central to the planning was a north courtyard. This and the kitchen are the heart of the home. The courtyard creates a diversity of views and outdoor living connections and experiences. It floods the home with light, warmth and views.
The rooms meander and the spaces wander. The spaces are linked, and there is no overriding “diagram” or “conceptual framework”. The relationships between the building components are collected, derived and meshed together to form their own language. They have felt relationships.
Awards: Cape Institute of Architecture Award 2007 | Photography: Rob Mills
Bernard James and Partners
021 461 8707 (T)
021 461 8717 (F)
Beekmans and Thunissen Construction Co CC
021 797 6239 (T)
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This Clifton Beach cottage was one of the early sites to be built on on Third Beach, and thus had a quintessentially low-key Clifton Bungalow character. However, old age had set in, and this sadly called for its demolition and allowed a fresh start. It was decided that the original core would be rebuilt so as to nostalgically maintain the building’s charm.
The clients brought a well-tuned eye to maximising small spaces as they have had experience with this in London. It is a small home, but spaces have been shifted and fine-tuned to get the best possible spatial configuration.
These spaces are open and they live comfortably onto the views and the garden. The front garden has generous beach frontage and a pool/deck space. The roof is a simple barn structure with clipped on portions. Light from roof lights supplement the rear and darker parts of the house. There was an existing granite boulder which was incorporated and built into two of the bathrooms. The finishes are unique and interesting, including Bisaza-like mosaic tiles, cedar shower floor planks, recycled Oregon flooring and rietdak ceiling. Inspired by some of Christian Liagre’s lazy, homely interiors, the finishes are simple and have a rustic sense while still being stylish.
Photography: Rob Mills
Engineering Analysis Services
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As one enters the front door you see right through the house to the ocean and the other spaces also follow this logic. Open plan kitchen, dining, living room and stoep all open up to a great big deck which wraps around the house. The family loves living and socialising around the kitchen, celebrating the food making process and all being in one place so a ten seater table was attached to the main island to allow for this. This then became a major design element and the heart of the house
The clients were fantastic and knew exactly what they wanted - they chose durable finishes which meant living so close to the ocean was no problem and the light, clean palate of colours chosen means that the house is a perfect combination of nostalgic beach house and contemporary luxury.
Photography : Leigh Page
This home is set in the dense urban Cape streetscape of popular Bantry Bay, and has shafts of sea views which appear through slots in the beachfront high-rise. The brief was to have a family holiday home with lots of space for extended family visits and entertainment. The core of the ground floor was retained while substantial changes were made to the entertainment spaces. The liveability was accentuated by enhancing the connection to the pool and terrace area. The internal living spaces were reconfigured to limit wall clutter, a comfortable, generous flow of spaces was created, and a lift was installed.
The focus on the house was naturally directed toward the views and the corner treatment defines the feeling of contemporary openness. The simple device of having slender balcony slabs causes the corner to “float” effortlessly. The corner stair window is a feature from within and without, and slides the circulation up the house with the rooms being stacked around the rear. The lightness and sweeping nature of this area reflects on the dynamic flow of the plan, resulting in a house with an essence which resonates throughout the design.
The finishes and interior have a fun “bling” feel. This contemporary urban Cape home is a hit with family and friends and is used with gusto.
Heinrich Beer Quantity Surveyors
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021 448 1659 (T)
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