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House Patterson
Somerset West, Western Cape

Gabriël Theron (Gawie) FAGAN: Design Architect



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34°04'44.34" S 18°51'16.74" E Alt: 65m

House Patterson in Somerset West was built for a potter. It is hidden from the street by a solid boundary wall, punctured only by a shuttered opening. The “house draws one, as into a spiral shell, towards the central hearth” (Fagan, c.1991:4). An upward spiral route leads the visitor from the street down a long driveway to a ceramic mural, with the front door placed at ninety degrees. On entry the visitor is turned to face the opposite direction where a staircase leads to a mezzanine study. At this point, views of False Bay are revealed. Fagan believes all elements should relate and enhance each other as far as possible, so the yard wall is made part of the house. The garden wall and three building blocks are used to define a courtyard hidden from the road and to foster the reading of a single form. Connections to the courtyard are limited, in a vernacular sense, to punctured openings, save for the original extensive open connection at the pottery studio end. House Patterson displays restraint in plastic articulation, but hints of plasticity can be seen in the curved junction of the living room roof.

(Arthur Barker on UPSpace. Accessed 2020 09 29)

These notes were last edited on 2020 09 29

Writings about this entry

Fagan, G. 2005. Twenty Cape Houses. Cape Town: Breestraat Publikasies. pg 46-47