ERF 347, Constantia
Constantia, Cape Town
Constantia is one of Cape Town’s oldest suburbs and has a rich history in farming, dating to the late 17th century. As a result of this history, Constantia boasts a rich architectural heritage, particularly in traditional Cape Dutch architecture. This project, situated on a farm in Constantia, comprises a home, staff quarters, vineyard, horse stables and an equestrian arena.
Although the massing and form recalls the architecture of traditional Cape Dutch farm barns, a language of contemporary openings was developed that responds to the internal spaces. Thick, lime-washed walls, with large expanses of glass, protected by steel and timber shutters, are located at the living areas, while the bedrooms and private areas have more controlled openings to ensure privacy without compromising the view to the vineyard below.
This differentiation between “public” and private areas is further expressed in the internal volumes – public areas have exposed rafters with pitched ceilings, while the private areas have flat, dropped ceilings.
The palette of materials is inspired by traditional Cape Dutch farm buildings. The guest quarters, which is situated below the entrance level, is expressed as a stone base. Above this base sits the main buildings, expressed as linear, lime-washed barns with timber windows, doors and shutters.
Boulders Beach Residence
Boulders Beach, Cape Town
Situated on one of the last remaining vacant sites on the water’s edge, this Boulders Beach site called for an architecture of restraint.
Jacobs Parker was tasked with finding a medium between the contrasting conditions of the high level access road and the calm Indian Ocean that the house overlooks. With its solid edge facing the road, the house is punctuated to permit views of the surrounding mountains.
The building becomes more transparent as one moves towards the ocean-facing side of the house, where the living areas and master bedroom suite are located, as solidity and mass are reduced.
Rondebosch East, Cape Town
This project involved the refurbishment of an existing house. The original building was designed with an extremely wide footprint, while the relationship between public and private was left undefined. The result was spaces which were anonymous, under-utilised and insufficiently lit.
In addition circulation through the various spaces was unstructured and there was no relationship between inside and outside. Jacobs Parker proposed a fresh new design to address these issues. A central courtyard was introduced to enhance the relationship between the inside and outside, provide spatial structure and clarity and improve the lighting of spaces.
The distinction between public and private spaces was made clear with one wing housing the bedrooms and the other the living spaces, kitchen area and the indoor pool area.
Flexibility is achieved between the various living spaces through the use of movable walls while timber screens and shutters add detail, filter the light and are used to screen private spaces from the rest of the house.
ERF 51882 Claremont
Claremont, Cape Town
Located in Claremont, Cape Town, the massing of this home is arranged in a way that responds to views of Table Mountain and maximises the use of the site by integrating indoor and outdoor spaces.
Working with a limited budget, standard materials were used to develop an architecture of wall and carefully proportioned openings. This play between solid and void accentuates the experience of space and volume.
The internal and outdoor living areas are conceptualised as one double-volume space. This continuation of the indoor space to the “outdoor room” and pool deck allows the space to feel larger than it actually is. A two-story high glazed facade serves as a line of enclosure between these two spaces.
The central double volume houses a bridge on the first floor. This bridge permits clear views to Table Mountain and expresses and celebrates circulation within the volume.
The spatial arrangement promotes interaction within the home. This is further promoted by openings between living spaces which means living areas are always connected to each other, and no space exists in isolation from the rest of the home.
Bantry Bay Apartment
Bantry Bay, Cape Town
This apartment refurbishment presented Jacobs Parker with an opportunity to contest the standard apartment typology.
The brief was to incorporate an efficient use of space with a strong Cape Dutch aesthetic. By introducing a diagonal wall to the apartment, the occupants are directed to the most significant view in the apartment.
This wall draws its inspiration from traditional Cape Dutch architecture in its mass and articulation. The thickness of the wall also allows it to serve an appropriate purpose, housing and compressing several functions so that the remaining space is as expansive and flexible as possible, given the small footprint.
Further references to Cape Dutch architecture reinterpreted in a contemporary manner include the materials and the use of shutters.