Chris van Niekerk

CIFA Commendation

Cape Town, South Africa

2 October 2017

2017 Cape Institute for Architecture Commendation

Jury Citation - House IIIA, Schotchekloof:

'Situated within the infill areas of Cape Town’s historic Bokaap, House IIIA blends well with the surrounding typography of typical double storey, double windowed homes. This is where the similarity ends, as upon closer inspection House IIIA has been crafted to engage with a more contemporary lifestyle.

An artful diagonal recess leads into the main living area, a delightful open-plan space, softened and backlit by the vertical garden which covers the neighbour’s boundary.

This house is well thought out and crafted at every level. Contemporary materials of steel and off-shutter concrete, bringing a new dynamic to the traditional Bokaap house, have been utilised. The windows comprise fine steelwork with details in brass and inlay of feature panes whilst keeping the main façade within its traditional rhythm. 

Designed within an extremely tight space on a three-bay module, the house has an efficiently compact three-part plan which uses the side space - a successfully conceived vertical garden - to its maximum. Totally inward looking, the focus is the well-crafted feature staircase, which further brings light into the interior. This stair leads further onto a roof terrace that takes excellent advantage of the splendid surrounding views without disturbing the street frontage.

It is a commendable example of credible, sensitive inner city intervention.'

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