van der merwe miszewski architects: mountain house
van der merwe miszewski architects: mountain house van der merwe miszewski architects: mountain house
apr 21, 2011

van der merwe miszewski architects: mountain house

‘mountain house’ by van der merwe miszewski architects, cape town, south africa images courtesy of van der merwe miszewski architects

while in cape town for design indaba 2011, designboom had the pleasure of meeting anya van der merwe miszewski, lead architect of the south african practice van der merwe miszewski architects. her latest project ‘mountain house’, is a single family home located on a steep sloping site at the foot of cape town’s table mountain. the design, which strives to harmoniously co-exist with the landscape, is composed of five loosely connected pavilions. tucked into the sloping and lush terrain, the structures lie in symphony with the surrounding context, mimicking the contours of the earth while reducing the visual impact of the built forms.

main entrance

stone walls are inserted into the landscape to create a series of terraces, platforms and enclosed spaces. the stone cladding, chosen for its color, emulates the characteristics of the nearby mountain whose presence anchors and defines the design. appearing as an extension of the ridge itself, the residence uses a selective collection of materials and forms – such as the undulating roof – that simulate and integrate the indigenous natural surroundings.

ground floor space with view over reflecting pool

stairway and library

view from dining room to stairway and corridors

dining room

living room and kitchen

view of house with mountains behind

multiple tiered volumes compose the back facade and work themselves into the slopped landscape

back elevation and reflecting pool

back terrace


various structures are nestled into the landscape

detail of roof and stone wall

  • Seems a bit too undulating, but very, very cool.

    Taliesin meets the South African landscape.

    Anonymous says:
  • Awesome !!!!!!!

    Bleu Platine says:
  • let nature take it’s course ,take all that art/stuff out and invite nature to come and visit – the south-easter wind – and breathe in ……….. and out

    anonymous says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,536 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample