Kai Kai Show House
For this particular project overlooking the ocean in Port Nolloth, Wilkinson Architects was asked to compile architectural guidelines which were responsive and sensitive to the context and environment in which the house would be built, in addition to the designing of the building.
Respect for the landscape refers to a restricted footprint in terms of the size of the house and a need for structures to blend in visually. This was achieved by height restrictions, flat concrete roofs and a specific colour palette borrowed from the dunes and plant species.
The single storey show house interprets the guidelines demonstrating what can be achieved within set parameters. The result is an understated, yet sophisticated series of interconnected flat roofed pavilions. Smaller buildings deal with the sloping site and the creation of wind protected courtyards while fragmentation of the facades minimises the visual impact on the dunes. The house also relies on free standing walls to layer facades and enhance the definition of courtyards. Furthermore, it is semi-sunken into the dune to reduce the visual impact.
The architecture relies on simplicity of form and spatial qualities. Internal light shafts enhance the natural light quality in the house and provide opportunity for artworks washing the textured white walls with light. Internal and external finishes are painted bag washed walls that change in colour as a result of the texture, and reflect the quality of light at the specific time of the day. White interior walls adapt to hues of orange in the late afternoon and become a fantastic play-off against the backdrop of the blue bay beyond.
Quartzite, a waste product of local mines and mosaic tiles, used on interior surfaces, are incorporated as accent walls. This process is part of the developer’s contribution towards a job creation programme in Port Nolloth where the unemployed are trained as artisans in a non-profit process.
The South African Institute of Architects Award for Excellence was introduced in 1990, and is conferred every second year where it recognises an exceptional contribution to the field of architecture. The award programme was revised in 1999, and now includes the Awards of Merit running concurrently. The Corobrik-SAIA Awards of Merit are to be conferred at a function to be held in September 2012 as part of the SAIA AZA Biennial convention which is being held in Cape Town. The panel of adjudicators for the 2011/12 Awards is being convened by the President of the Institute, Fanuel Motsepe, and consists of Peter Kidger from Corobrik and an academic architect, Philippa Tumubweinee and designer David Tlale.
The 2011/12 awards have seen a total of 55 entries, a marked increase from previous years, and significantly, the Institute received entries from two new regions – the Northern Cape Institute of Architects and the North West Province Institute of Architects.
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Prepared for the SA Institute of Architects
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