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House Little Walmer

The house is orientated around a central dominant form enclosed by the only pitched roof flanked by two split gables. This fissured structure sets the concept in motion providing a spine off which several flat roofed boxes are ‘attached’. The steeply sloped site undulates towards a dramatic articulated landscape with spectacular views to the north and east across a flowing river valley. A concept of framed Zen views capture the stark beauty of the setting in a controlled manner as the visitor is led through the house. The continuous play between structure and landscape is encapsulated by the growth of box forms from the landscape interacting with the house as the garden “jumps” onto the house in the form of sky gardens on large accessible balconies where ultimately the visitor is treated to a panoramic view stretching to the ocean. ‘Green’ issues were key in the design of the house. Solar panels integrated into the design provide hot water for geysers and feeds under floor water heating. Rainwater is harvested for irrigation purposes. Passive design considerations include the orientation, with predominantly north and east facing windows. All north facing windows have 30% filtered glazing and are shielded by horizontal sun screens. All windows facing west and south have translucent glazing. Low energy light fittings are implemented in the lighting strategy combining fluorescent, incandescent and LED down lighters and strip lighting. The pool is cleaned by a process of reverse osmosis. The house makes use of extensive pioneering technology for its location. A central C-bus system regulates the house enabling occupants to make several choices ranging from CD selections, lighting scenarios, views of outside cameras, etc.

Project Facts

Location:Port Elizabeth
Awards:Eastern Cape Institute of Architects - Award of Commendation 2011
Date of Project:2008
Design Team:Albrecht Herholdt, Gianni Geminiani