[ courtyard house ]
From the onset it has been the architect’s objective to create a single storey dwelling that facilitates a contemporary and modern lifestyle, integrated with fundamental environmental design principles. The conceptual approach was driven by a site without any views, with overlooking neighbours and a stringent height restriction. The design explored the notion of the house as a ‘stoep’. All spaces are opening entirely onto a series of understated yet sophisticated, interconnecting courtyards as well as a green walled backdrop. The seamless integration of inside to outside is made possible by large floor to ceiling glass sliding panels under a meticulously engineered concrete roof which minimized the need for vertical support in critical areas.

The entire roof is planted which reduces ‘heat island effect’, facilitates water harvesting, promotes biodiversity and thermally insulates interior spaces below. This planted roof landscape also improves distant views and eliminates potential glare to surrounding neighbours. Shutters and louvers provide sun control in summer, whilst thermal insulation, double glazing and the harvesting of solar energy minimizes energy consumption in winter.

Materials have been selected and applied to display their natural properties and will gradually weather to their natural patina to juxtapose the stark white walls. The carefully considered landscape design employs species that will grow to dense green walls to provide vertical screens to complete the edges of the courtyards.
[ le joubert ]
The conceptual approach of this project was a response drawn from inspiration gained from an exceptional site. The site is surrounded by distant mountain views, a view of the towering granite boulders below Paarl Rock, a mature olive grove and rolling vineyards. The design explores the reinterpretation of the local vernacular, overlaid by a modern accommodation schedule and instilling the principles of ‘Cape place making’, whilst continually exposing its inhabitants to its sense of place.

The building consists of two barns, each with their respective private and semi-private functions. These are arranged in an L-shape around a raised central courtyard flanked by secondary grassed courtyards to allow free movement through the barns within the ‘werf’. A vygie planted green roof is edged by a lap pool and allows for a visual link to the vineyards over the service building below. This separates the private living area from working areas and provides complete privacy to the main courtyard and house from the road below.

Large sliding doors allow the living areas to spill onto the grassed courtyards whilst matching slatted timber shutters act as a privacy screen and provides sun control when necessary.

The palette of materials used, the landscape design as well as the interior was carefully considered to compliment the client’s brief requirement of a “liveable barefoot house”.
[ carronnade crescent ]
The dwelling is situated on a steep, narrow suburban site in Kanonberg Estate on the slopes of Tygerberg Hill with magnificent distant views of the Hottentots Holland Mountains over a vast suburban landscape. The brief called for a family home that would reflect and support the character and specific needs of its inhabitants, immediately as well as over an extended period of time by adapting to the ever changing requirements of a young family.

In addition to stringent design guidelines of the estate, the site is overlooked by a number of monolithic structures, which posed a significant design challenge to create privacy whilst optimizing distant views and incorporating selected views of the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. The site is plagued by prevailing south easterly winds during summer and due to its geographic position faces an early sunset in winter.

The conceptual approach consists of a horizontal layering system with a linear vertical circulation axis to the south side, creating a buffer to the neighboring dwelling yet allowing selected views to the reserve and a protected wind free courtyard to the north. A series of planted roofs and platforms have been developed to maintain a green landscape on the site, manage the impact of the fifth elevation, reduce the hard landscaping and allow distant views over plains of wild grass. The visual link to the nature reserve and distant view has been carefully retained whilst large steel and timber sliding shutters and internal sliding screens provide privacy, flexibility and sun control when required in conjunction with screen planting and canopy trees (which will provide full effect once properly established). A series of courtyards have been developed to create intimate, sheltered exterior spaces to all internal areas supporting all re-configurations at any time of year.

Daily family life revolves around a central kitchen in direct proximity to the dining and both living areas on the edge of the north facing wind free courtyard and swimming pool. Large sliding doors open on all sides in keeping with the architect’s philosophy of the house as a ‘stoep’ creating a seamless transgression from inside to out.
[ long house ]
The site for this dwelling is situated high up on the slopes of the Tygerberg bordering the Tygerberg Nature reserve with magnificent views of the Hottentots Holland mountains over a vast suburban landscape. The building is set within the renosterveld as a thin box-like element resting lightly on a spine wall cutting across the site. A series of subtle retaining walls is employed to make the first mark in the landscape to create a series of planted courtyards that will tame the wilderness between the dwelling and the renosterveld.

The design called for a family home that will respond to the complexities of the site whilst affording its inhabitants a direct relationship with its surround by integrating a series of sheltered courtyards to provide privacy and protection against the elements, yet allowing uninterrupted distant views of both the plains of renosterveld and raised horizon to the south west, as well as the suburban landscape and distant mountain views to the east.

The conceptual approach for the dwelling explores the house as a “stoep” where its inhabitants is constantly reminded and exposed to its siting and integration with nature. The linear plan form allows for all rooms and circulation routes to benefit from the magnificent setting whilst preserving the natural environment. A series of design criteria has been adopted to ensure that the scar on the landscape will be reduced and that the building will actively participate in the preservation of our natural environment and resources.

All natural shrubs affected during the building process will be preserved and reinstated thereafter. The entire roofscape of the dwelling will be planted with Festuca Glauca for heat insulation, to reduce hard landscaping and water run-off and to blend the fifth elevation with the landscape as perceived by hikers from the reserve. The roof overhang and hill providing sun screening to the west a layer of purpose made sliding louvers will be employed to all external apertures to the east to act as an ecological filter, security threshold and social filter. All water runoff and grey water will be collected in subterranean tanks and re-used for maintaining the natural growth.

The items as listed above are but a few of the green principles that will be employed to underline the symbiosis of this project with its natural environment and its inhabitant’s wish to preserve the site.

[ st. helena bay - current ]
[ combretum avenue ]
The site for this dwelling is situated high up on the slopes of the Tygerberg flanked by suburbia but neighbouring the Tygerberg Nature Reserve with magnificent views of the Hottentots Holland mountains over a vast suburban landscape. Due to its location the site is exposed to high winds that posed a challenge to maintain a physical relationship with the exterior during the windy season. A series of courtyards have been developed to facilitate privacy and sheltered outdoor spaces from the main bedrooms and to serve as shelter from the harshest of winds.

The visitor is constantly reminded of his proximity to nature where uninterrupted views of the surrounding ‘wilderness’ are afforded through the dwelling from the protected main courtyard. To the south the natural Renosterveld landscape has been reinstated to create a seamless integration with the Tygerberg Nature reserve where the indigenous fauna and flora has become an active part of the inhabitant’s daily experience. The visibility of the building from the high ground of the neighbouring nature reserve informed the design of roofscape. The roofs of the bedroom wings, situated closest to the nature reserve, were therefore planted to be read as a formalized landscape.

The main living areas, situated under a floating monopitch roof, adopt the angle of the slope of the site to ensure minimal visual impact from both the road as well as the nature reserve. This grants unobstructed external views through the dwelling to the elevated horizon. The secondary living room and bedrooms together with a water trough enclose the main courtyard space to the nature reserve on the south, whilst an 18m lap pool creates a privacy platform as well as the northern edge of the building.

[ cone close ]
[ landskroon avenue ]
A particular relationship to landscape is explored in this project. The house is conceived as a structure exposed to weather and time, a structure subject to decay and to a process of returning gathered materials to their natural state.

The house is situated between a nature reserve and a compromised suburban landscape of mediocre houses. The plan accommodates modern requirements and is based on the fundamentals of Cape place-making. The house takes ownership of the landscape and shelters its inhabitants from extreme weather conditions. The inhabitants in turn perform the ritual of battening shutters and closing hatches to weatherproof the dwelling in the face of threatening storms.

A number of smaller pavilions are arranged around a central court that provides a sheltered environment and a suitable mask for the desolate appearance of nearby suburban houses.

Nature is constantly present in uninterrupted views of the surrounding “wilderness” through framed views from the protected court. To the north the natural renosterveld landscape has been reinstated to create a seamless integration with the Tygerberg Nature Reserve. The indigenous fauna and flora have become an active part of daily life. To the south the eye is focused on beautiful distant views etched above a raised plane of wild grass.

A limited palette of construction materials has been employed. The original act of gathering materials and assembling them in the course of building is echoed in details that expose the materials in their most basic form. The physical nature of the materials is emphasized by the effects of weathering, which causes a deterioration of the built form and reverses the process of harvesting material from the environment. Materials have been chosen to weather, streak and peel, thus revealing underlying layers. Careful consideration has been given to the anticipated process of revival through replacement or conservation.

[ papenboom ]
[ house totius street ]
The site for this dwelling is situated high up on the slopes of the Tygerberg in close proximity to the Tygerberg Nature Reserve, with magnificent views of the Hottentots Holland Mountains over the vast suburban landscape.

The design called for a family home that would respond to the complexities of the site whilst affording its inhabitants a direct relationship with its surroundings. This was achieved by integrating a series of sheltered courtyards to provide privacy and protection against the extreme wind conditions. The building arranges itself around a central court by means of a number of smaller pavilions to provide a sheltered environment. In addition, a layer of purpose-made sliding louvres has been utilised for all external apertures to act as an ecological filter and security threshold.

To the north-west, the entire dwelling opens up to a private garden and to the north-east a similar aperture allows access to the timber-decked central courtyard with focal fever tree. From here the eye is focussed on beautiful distant views etched over a raised plane of Festuca Glauca (wild grass) to mask views of undesirable suburban attempts.

The conceptual approach for the roof, strongly influenced by that of Glenn Murcutt's Marie Short House, has been developed to draw controlled north light into the living rooms and to create a sense of lightness over these areas. The living area is thereby expressed as a 'stoep' in lieu of creating an additional covered external living area.

The entire construction makes use of a limited palette of materials and the inhabitants are constantly reminded of the original act of gathering, as elements have been employed and exposed in their most basic form. The materiality is informed by the issues derived from the effect of weathering, not only as a physical deterioration of the built form, but also as an inverted process of our participation in our environment. Materials have been chosen to weather, streak and peel, thus revealing underlying layers.

[ house braum ]
[ fernkloof house ]
[ house nederburgh street ]
About Us

Schabort Associates Architects was established by Wynand Schabort in 2006 and has since been involved in a wide spectrum of developments ranging from single residential, group housing, retirement villages, restoration, industrial, commercial, laboratory, mixed use and renovation projects. [ read more ]
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