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House J, Simonstown, South Africa

Saturday 15 Dec 2007

House J

Kevin Fellingham Architecture 
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Kevin Fellingham Architecture wins prestigious award for the first building completed by the practice 

This project has been an attempt to find an architectural space between things. It has been a very personal project in that it is a house designed for my parents.
The house is located at the edge of Simonstown, between the architectural conservation area of the town and the nature conservation area of the Table Mountain national park, between nature and culture, between the mountains and the sea. The house is not only located where it is, and built the way it is, and used the way it is but is about its location , its construction and its use, every design decision was turned in on itself in a search for a clarity which is inclusive of context rather than an idea imposed from outside. The presence of a set of design codes designed to prevent anything out of the ordinary from being built were part of the context.
The house consists of a series of parallel solids with open spaces eroded between them. This echoes the landscape of headlands and bays framed by the opening cut through the mass of the walls. This opening is shaded by an overhang, held like a hand over the eyes when staring towards the horizon, hanging like the sandstone overhangs on the slope behind the house under which the earliest inhabitants sought shelter and prospect. It is this threshold which gives the house its purpose, the powerfully charged simultaneous experience of shelter from and exposure to the natural world.
The house is organised like Simonstown, it is a series of sandstone retaining walls and small white buildings stepping up the slope, accessed ramps and stairs in the narrow spaces between them. Doors, windows and shutters are layered on the outer face of the shaded white walls to mediate between the elements and the architecture. The ceiling of the main rooms fl oats up towards the sky through the concrete structure, pitching up the roof. The service spaces are roofed by a terrace onto which the mountain flows, giving intimate access to its slopes.
The design was developed in London by Kevin Fellingham with technical documentation, contract administration and site inspection carried out by Team Architects in Cape Town under the direction of Philip Stiekema.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Kevin Fellingham Architecture

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