SAOTA – Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects sent us photos of Cove 6 project, a modern residence located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The owner’s brief was to design a house inspired by its indigenous fynbos surroundings, which is part of the recently established The Cove, a Private Estate, with the Pezula Golf Estate as backdrop. The site, located on an exposed cliff edge overlooking a rocky peninsula, is perched above a dramatic seascape with spectacular views. Great care has been taken to promote the natural attributes of the site with the use of materials to complement the natural colour pallet and textures of the site to provide the least impact both during construction and after completion.
The approach has therefore been a pavilion that blends with and does not overpower nature with a cohesive architectural character where it comes to scale, proportion and the articulation of the building form. It is airy, yet firmly anchored into the landscape by means of heavy stone clad walls. Cantilevered structures such as the pool and elevated timber decks where allowed to protrude beyond the building lines and demarcated destructive zone to allow indigenous planting to grow below.
The open plan linear composition of the interior spaces allows views from every room. To take advantage of the sea and surrounding golf course views and to provide protection from the extreme Cape Coastal climate, the living spaces were designed with South West/North East orientations, resulting in an open flowing space with both uninterrupted sea facing terraces and protected courtyards. This allows the house to ‘live’ on both sides with the main living spaces forming the link between inside and outside.The key to this retreat is its simplicity in terms of the relationship between spaces. Its floor plan is structured, sparse and uncluttered. [Photos and information received via e-mail by SAOTA]
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light