GABRIËL FAGAN ARCHITECTS: Architect
Click to view map
House Swanepoel (1991), a weekend house in Hermanus, Western Cape, is a formal mediation of a full programme and a very tight site, orientating bedroom and living spaces to the northern sun, and the main living area towards the sea view. The house contains cellular edge spaces with an enclosed courtyard and a partly enclosed living space. The glazed courtyard roof connects the interior volume to the sky while providing light and ventilation within the constricted plan. A bathroom courtyard provides privacy, light, ventilation and a view of the stars at night. Small rooflights to internal bathrooms extend the cellar and sky theme. Security is provided by closely spaced reinforcing rods at the same pitch as the roof. In House Swanepoel in Hermanus the fireplace is both functionally and symbolically at the climax of the roof in the living spaces. The flue rises through a glazed roof connection where structural logic is almost defied, allowing the flue to be read as an independent element. The house anchors itself to the earth through the partially submerged garage and stone retaining wall to the north. A low garden wall to the south completes the framed “base”, while the rest of the house perches above.
These notes were last edited on 2020 09 28