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.




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