Higgovale, Cape Town, Western Cape | 1999 A commission to design a house on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town created an opportunity to test the architectsâ€™ concerns and searches for contextual responsiveness and connectivity. The site, adjacent to a valley and stream, has a canopy of magnificent spreading umbrella Pines. These trees, majestic and sculptural, provided the primary reference and ultimately the structural concept for the house. Five tree-like structures anchor the roof to the ground and provide shelter for the functions gathered under. These trees are surrounded by an entirely separate lightweight transparent steel and glass enclosure supported on a heavily rusticated stone base. The design of the house incorporates themes of narrative, of layering and of expressed threshold. Nestled within the forest, Tree House occupies a narrow, wooded, steeply sloping site on the edge of a mountain stream. The structure supporting the roof is independent of the enclosure: tree-like supports anchor the roof to the ground below, while the glass and steel envelope is supported separately on a heavy base. The roof, a composite timber crate and lightweight slab, is deliberately separate from the perimeter edge and is accentuated by the continuous ribbon window at eaves level. Loads transfer via the timber â€œbranchesâ€? to a steel column, bolt fixed at ground floor level. Timber as a service-orientated material is repeated in functional elements such as the fireplace enclosure and ventilation panels within the glass-box. In contrast, the north end is predominantly glass to connect the interior with the forested outside space. The vertical circulation, linking the three levels and giving access to the roof, are elements which are highlighted to emphasize their function within the overall structure. The main spiral stair is wrapped in a lightweight sheath and top-lit by an overhead skylight.
25 Sophia Gray Memorial Lectures and Exhibitions 1989-2013
2008 Practice van der merwe miszewski Anya Miszewski and Macio Miszewski van der merwe miszewski projects