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 respond architecturally in a viable manner. The sloped site and high water-table further impacted on the design resolution.
In addition to the physical site constraints, the title deed restrictions only allowed for the function of a shop. Even though the mixed-use approach is supported by the zone scheme stipulation of primary uses, the long process of removal of such a restriction results in many months of unproductive time. This explains why two strips of vacant land opposite each other, consisting of eighteen 10 meter x 23 meter stands have remained unutilised since the establishment of the town of Betty’s Bay in the early 1930’s. The parking requirements in the zone scheme, in addition to the mentioned restrictions, render these sites unviable for most potential owner’s needs.
The contemporary architectural response resulted in a concrete frame structure comprising of two floor plates and flat concrete roof with infill panels of brick on the sides and aluminium framed glass on the street sides. The first-floor apartment allows a good flow of fresh air through the building, while optimising the mountain views to the north and sea views to the south. Consideration was given to good winter sun penetration. Active solar systems will provide for most energy needs. The exterior rendering will be of low maintenance finishes.
The design approach is of such that the building will be able to learn new ways by adapting to future needs, thereby being mindful of future heritage and sustainability.
“Ons is beindruk met die konsep omrede dit streng beperkinge moes oorkom het om aan ons behoeftes te voldoen.”
– André van Wyk