WAN Jobs
News Review
WAN Urban Challenge
WAN Awards
Previous Next

Gota Residence, East Africa

Wednesday 19 Dec 2012

A house on a rock...

Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa
Sforza Seilern Architects 
Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa Gota Residence by Studio Seilern Architects in East Africa
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 5

Add comments | More comments

04/03/13 Robert, Birmingham
Glass enclosure sandwiched between two rectangular slabs perched on a rock.
Awe inspiring...for the Classicists. As I have stated before - Neutra and his contemporaries created houses far in advance to this 60 years ago. What would they have achieved today, given the same brief?
01/03/13 Robert, Solhull
2013 and there is absolutely nothing remarkable about this building; its all appears to be just a pastiche of borrowed cliches from famous yesteryear buildings of real architectural merit.
Just wonder what Neutra would have created today if confronted with the same brief and constraints.
Infinity pools, projecting flat roof, something from the Glass House, Esprit Nouneau etc etc.
Does it harness the elements, produce its own energy...can you live in it comfortably?
Is there anything radically new about it - will people want to visit it in 50 years' time? - I doubt it.
A house on a rock sums it up...but what would I know(?)
Click for more ...
01/03/13 Malcolm HECKS, London
01/03/13 Carol, NYC
A granite cliff had to be excavated to produce this luxury home, and presumably any access to the house required more disturbance of the surroundings. One of the runner-up houses required mature trees to be cut down so someone could have their beach house. You celebrate these houses for cleverly blending into their environments ("great consideration was given to the trees" before they were cut down...), but they do so at great cost, and merely so that some rich "me, me, me" person can have a vanity perch.

Seems to me the house in Brixton, finding a beautiful and flexible way to make use of a small in-fill space, should be the one getting the award. Architects use the word "green" every two minutes, but as long as you continue to pile awards on homes that create gorgeous spaces by gutting sensitive environments in the interest of a few spoiled people, you are doing nothing to support architecture that is truly creative and forward thinking, and takes "green" into account for real.
Click for more ...
01/03/13 Melanie, Melabourne, Australia
Incredible. I am awestruck. Wish I could have the same house in amongst some gum trees in Australia. Congratulations - Melanie
Award Entry

Sforza Seilern Architects completed their first African project atop Gota dam 

The house is situated atop a granite rock overlooking a large man-made dam. The location creates an awe-inspiring peice of architecture. The views and the drama of the granite cliff plunging into the dam were the inspiration for the concept, where oversized cantilevered roofs and extensive terraces frame the views and shelter from the vertical African sun.

The basic elements of the house are: two granite blocks, enclosing bedrooms and support spaces, anchor the building into the rock, and become part of the surrounding topography. An oversized timber platform and a cantilevering roof frame the exterior spaces and the panoramic views. Finally two glass boxes span between the deck and roof, and the natural granite topography. These enclose the winter living areas at the upper level and the master bedroom suite at the lower level. They are transparent enclosures that again emphasise the views and the feeling of living within the surrounding landscape.

A small horizon pool at the lower level visually integrates the dam reservoir with the lower levels of the house. All elements are orientated in such a manner as to create physical adjacencies and visual privacy where required. The cantilevers roofs and stretched terraces give the house the appearance of being gently floating above the rock. The roofs protect the floor-to-ceiling glass from direct sun radiation.

The project had to deal with issues of hyper-inflation and lack of available material. All materials were sourced locally, except for specialist items such as the glass and the roof waterproofing. The granite used to clad the two anchor blocks were the ‘crusts’ cut-off that came from the granite excavation. Using the granite from the site also insured that the building blended harmoniously with its surroundings.


Click here to visit Muzia Sforza Architecture's website.


Key Facts

Status Completed
Value Undisclosed(m€)
Studio Seilern Architects

More projects by this architect

Ski Chalet

Performance Art Centre

Residential penthouse scheme

Wellington College Performing Arts Centre

Future Reception

More Projects

Reinventing Cities

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site