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This compact family home sits within a narrow-wooded plot in Kommetjie, at the seaside on the Cape Town peninsular. Located in a great position in the heart of the village the sought-after site is a short walk to the unspoilt outdoor expanses of Kommetjie beach, mountains, and village. Never intended as a full-time residence the original building was a characteristically ordinary face-brick seaside holiday house purchased by the clients residing inland. The new home was commissioned when the clients decided to relocate from Johannesburg with their young children.

Their brief was to transform the house into a three bedroomed family residence with a stylish and contemporary architectural quality. The challenge to the architect was that accommodation had to be carefully created around spectacular indigenous Milkwood trees which ultimately defined the design and construction approach. Using the walls of the old holiday home as a shell, the old roof was carefully removed, and the plan remodelled into a double storey with bedrooms upstairs, above the indoor and outdoor living areas below. Re-oriented to the north, the house maximises views across to Chapman’s Peak mountains and beyond to scenic Hout Bay.

The use of long lasting Rheinzinc sheeting, finely assembled and custom fitted, transformed the roof and wall elements into an enveloping whole beneath the forest like tree-canopy. The design approach made it a priority that site work involved as much off-site fabrication for the delicate assembly with minimal site disruption. Completed in 2014, the result is a magical juxtaposition - where the retention of an environmentally sensitive and exquisite site with heritage trees has been transformed through precision engineering, and constructing home with a crafted and detailed aesthetic seldom achieved in South Arica.

Building contractor - Elmo Strydom, structural engineer – SCH Kirkpatrick



Kommetjie, Cape town, South Africa


2012 - 2014