One of the driving concepts for the house was to create a roof that is a monocoque or single form shell for rainwater harvesting.

The initial design concept for a longer house had the roof shaped like a wave, peeling and cranking  over the different spaces of a linear composition, but budget constraints led us to a shorter wider plan form with the result that the overarching roof became more like a cranked shell. The so called lip of the wave is expressed as a continuous white fascia box concealing the gutters and dropping to ground at all four main corners with concealed down pipes that collect the total roof top to rainwater tanks via subsurface drainage.

The main roof space was cleared out to create a high volume over the living areas and the old Oregon trusses were recycled as wall cladding to highlight the entrance sequence and the main bedroom corner projection.

The high volume ceiling sweeps through to the pool veranda as a cranked plane. From here it extends around the house for shade on the north side and on the south side it pulls back to let in South light.

The twin boy’s bedrooms are interlinked and open to the garden. The new main bedroom opens onto the garden with corner sliders. The main en-suite is washed with light from a glass roof over the shower and the bath opens onto the main bedroom with shutters.

In phase 2 the shell roof slides out to integrate the garage on the south side and a piece of the roof breaks off to form the outside playroom studio.

Hot water is solar thermal, space heating and cooling is addressed via passive methods; orientation, strategic shading and ventilation and the open volume is warmed by a high efficiency wood stove.

Rainwater is harvested during the cape winter and a registered borehole supply takes over during summer to keep the tanks full for garden irrigation and topping up the pool. The house runs on mains.

The client was fabulous to work with and very trusting of our process but drive a tight budget. Great contractor, PPM was flexible, delivered a good finish and went the extra mile on budget and program.

Photography:- Johan Lourens

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