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Initially designed in 2000 for a family returning to South African after years in the UK with small children, the clients were inspired by another house by Design Matters in Tamboerskloof in Cape Town’s sought-after City Bowl area. Taken with the clean modern lines of the house, the sensitivity to the site, and the use of a simple approach to standard industrial materials, the brief for their new home was similar - an exposed steel main structure, combined with brick walls, and large planes of glass.

Situated on one of the last remaining unbuilt sites on the slopes of Signal Hill in the natural rugged setting, the idea was that this new home would be oriented to maximise the spectacular views across the city towards the front face of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain.

Villa like, the home had to be carefully sited amid the natural ravine setting. The house was conceived as a transparent steel and glass bridge that spans a seasonal mountain stream between two solid masonry wings. The structure and materials underline this contrast – exposed steelwork and glass in the double volume bridge section, and solid masonry wall planes punctured with smaller picture windows in the bedroom and livingroom wings, all set in a garden seamlessly knitted into the mountain and stream. It is not often that a house gets a second life and that successive owners re- commission an architect to enhance and expand on the original design scheme. This is precisely what happened when a new owner commissioned a new pavilion on the upper end of the site to compliment the original bridge villa. Completed in 2005 what transpired is a unique and exclusive property that develops on the themes of simple materials, modern living. Layered over time, the landscape has matured and integrated into the romantic hillside site.

Building contractor – Tenderite Construction, structural engineer – Vernon Collis, landscape architect – Tarna Klitzener



Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, South Africa


2000 - 2002