swansilva's white brick house in south africa emerges through indigenous vegetation
 

swansilva's white brick house in south africa emerges through indigenous vegetation

swansilva has designed a family house located in a small town on the south coast of the overberg in south africa. overlooking the palmietberg mountains to the north and the atlantic ocean to the south, ‘house 4ak’ stands in an indigenous fynbos garden. the residence has been designed as a retreat where inhabitants are encouraged to interact with one another via the central courtyard which forms the link between the various spaces and volumes.

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 1

all photos by markus jordaan, unless stated otherwise

 

 

swansilva has created a design where the living space, kitchen and courtyard are intersected by the bedroom block. in this way, the bedroom volume cantilevers over the front door protecting it from rain, while announcing its presence to the street. the interior spaces are orientated towards the views and the courtyard, which also acts as an extension of the living room and outdoor dining area. the main bedroom overlooks a roof garden, set to enhance the view by integrating the building with the natural surroundings.

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photo by epitome studios

 

 

the holding idea behind the form of the house was creating a brick mass rising from the fynbos, whilst retaining some of the vegetation on the roof and welcoming indigenous fauna to nest and inhabit it. the building has been pulled back from the street to allow for the local flora to take over the rest of the plot, exhibiting the natural beauty in lieu of the manicured green lawns of neighbouring properties. 

 

 

 

 

the material palette was built around budgetary constraints, consisting of two of the most commonly used construction materials in this area: rough cast off-shutter concrete and humble brick. for the off-shutter concrete, the shutter boards were laid in a random manner to prevent the concrete from looking too controlled, adding to the laid-back beach aesthetic. the locally sourced non-face bricks were bagged and painted to expose the texture, adding a handmade texture to the exterior. at the same time, the bricks render the building in a white coat which reflects the changes of the lighting conditions.

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 3

 

 

a skylight has been cut across the living room space from east to west, objectifying the passing of time by making it constantly visible. the window openings have been apportioned and arranged according to the view it frames, all the while letting in the level of sunlight required to keep the spaces cool in summer and warm in winter. the western elevation has been left devoid of any window openings to prevent the harsh western sun from penetrating the house and excessively heating the interior, but balconies have been positioned in a way for the inhabitants to still take advantage of the colourful sunsets over mountain and sea.

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 4
photo by epitome studios

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 5

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 6

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 7

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 8

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 9

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 10
ground floor plan

 

swansilva designs white brick boxes which emerge from an indigenous garden 11
first floor plan

 

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section

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: house 4ak
architecture office: swansilva
lead architects: johan swanepoel & ann-mari da silva
engineer: cigela consulting

 

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom

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