Raymond Smith | Heritage unpacked – the built environment and its poetic qualities
As a philosophical architectural and heritage practitioner I am starting this blog to share information regarding events and concerns involving the built environment, but will probably be more partial to its poetic qualities than its quantitative value.
raymond smith, architectural and heritage practitioner
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Troskie Cottage 2018

Troskie Cottage 2018

It is always a rewarding experience to be able to restore/renovate or adapt an existing older structure imbued with character and history. The process also affords the opportunity to allow it to learn new ways to accommodate contemporary needs, while being an environmentally sustainable approach as it conserves the embodied energy of the structure, it also ensures heritage continuum.   This type...

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South East perspective

Van Wyk Building 2018/2019

This small-scale mixed-use development, now in planning phase, consists of a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor with parking garage and shop on the ground floor. It is an exercise in compact spatial planning while overcoming restrictions. The difficult site, being narrow and permitting fenestration and doors only at the front and rear, presented a challenge in how to...

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Overall view of completed phase 1 repurposing project

Brigadoon Village

Dementia assisted living facility (Phase 1) This heritage graded IIIB site, situated in Stony Point along the Atlantic Ocean in Betty’s Bay, remembers a time in history when the South African special signal services was accommodated here in barracks during WWII. Their task was to monitor low flying aeroplanes and German U-boat activity around our coastline in support of the allied...

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Street view of New Zealand House apartments

New Zealand House – Apartments

(renamed Venice House)   The re-purposing of this 1926 office block through adaptive re-use to accommodate apartments required not only rethinking of the spatial division of the various floors, but also incorporating additional functions which were not part of the office program.  In this case it necessitated the need to re-plan the reticulation of services vertically through seven floors to facilitate kitchens...

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SANCCOB Bird Rehabilitation Centre

SANCCOB – Bird Rehabilitation Centre

The SA Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds This unusual brief and site provides significant challenges of which re-zoning, provision of own sewerage plant and own water supply is only a part of. Due to the sensitive location in the buffer zone of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, an environmental impact assessment as well as a visual impact assessment is required. The...

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Elevation facing the ocean looking south

House Augustyn 2017

This contemporary holiday house is situated in the coastal village of De Kelders. The program serves all the functions which one would expect from a holiday house with focus on entertainment and play areas on ground as well as first floor. The built form, expressed as a cuboid with rectangular footprint, presents a flat plane to the street while shifting extrusions...

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Bezuidenhoudt Street view

House Leiwater 2017

This project, a contemporary infill house on an undeveloped site, triggered Section 31 of the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 as it falls within the historic core of Stanford village, having been proclaimed an Urban Conservation Area by Government Gazette No 1909 of 15 December 1995 under the old National Monuments Act 28 of 1969. The challenge was...

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Model of proposal

House Fritz “Hokaai!” 2016

Additions and alterations to this grade IIIC heritage structure, of which the core was built around the 1920's, presented an inspiring challenge. Appreciated for its positive contribution to the streetscape character and coastal walk, the house in Kleinmond was at a critical stage in its history where it had to learn new ways to accommodate modern functionality or risk possible...

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South-West Axo

House Lermer “Happy Days” 2015 / 2016

The original structure on this grade IIIC heritage site was built in 1943 to serve as a WWII radar monitoring facility. During 1970, additions were made to turn it into a proper house. The 2016 design allows the structure to evolve architecturally, not only in functional terms – by increasing accommodation and improve tectonics while maximising views, but to acquire...

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Veldhuis with green building principles employed

Veldhuis 2015

This single residential dwelling in Betty's Bay expressed as an adapted double barn, is a contemporary re-interpretation of Cape vernacular architecture through its longhouse footprint and gable ends. The internal planning and design is a study in open plan functionality, spatial flow, light and continuous connectivity with context. Its form – with specific reference to the cranked roof ridge line...

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West view from Street

De Wet Cottage 2014

This modern barn-house cottage, which accommodates a city dwellers' need for retreat, encapsulates all the conveniences of a lock-up and go. It is self-sufficient in terms of energy with thermal and photovoltaic technology incorporated in the design. The cottage provides a sense of delight with its human scale and the juxtaposition of contemporary materials with traditional form. The design and...

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North entrance view

Burger 2nd Dwelling 2014

This infill house is a response to the need for higher urban density in the conservation area of Oranjezicht, Cape Town. It serves the functional life-style of modern city living while resonating with the character of the environs. Conscious of its siting, within a conservation area, this low maintenance and energy-wise dwelling provides an appropriate second dwelling solution. It is...

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West view of house

House Combrink 2013

This home is a contemporary architectural design response within a vineyard estate setting outside Stellenbosch. Serving as a permanent family residence, it provides for a comfortable lifestyle which will endure. Superior materials and finishes will ensure a low life-cycle cost while appropriate energy and thermal efficiency was implemented in the design. Spatial relationships with the garden and views were negotiated to mitigate prevailing...

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Façade detail

House Klopper – Haupt 2012

A traditional approach, with aesthetic character inspired by the 19th century architecture from the old part of the Philadelphia village, it is a response of its time in concept and detail. The design remembers the conceptual heritage of the semi-rural landscape while harnessing up-to-date building technology and spatial experience. A rich use of materials and textures provides interest and warmth...

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North-East view of house as seen from Street

House Scholtz 2011

Modernism revisited with sustainability in mind. This structure – with the Kogelberg mountains in the background – traces the contours of the sloped site on pad and ground beam foundation. Living space extends onto wood decks. A diverse selection of low maintenance materials defines the indoor / outdoor flow through a reserved use of form and linear elements. Water-wise instruments,...

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North-West Street view

Combrink Cottage 2009

Major addition and alteration to this holiday cottage provided the opportunity to redefine spatial functionality to accommodate new requirements while being able to address architectural indiscretions, such as correcting the low gable and roof pitch, which in turn allowed for a double volume in the lounge area. By introducing more glazing and open flowing spaces, the building acquired a feeling...

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