Perched on the Atlantic face of the Cape Peninsula, this house is in an area which was practically uninhabited until the 20th century. Its savage climate, with wind and rain coming in off the southern ocean, discouraged development, even though the district is only two miles from the centre of Cape Town. But changing sensibilities about the picturesque, and modern building materials which can withstand the climate, have enabled the area to become popular. The house is a personal statement. It is hand-built (craftsmanship is very expensive). It relies on a poetic reading of the site and a feeling for the vernacular, which is abstracted in a sensitive modern manner without any hint of kitsch or pastiche in the white stuccoed walls and Cape Dutch chimney. The plan is rich in delightful changes in level and minute deflections in the angles of wall planes, particularly around the processional entrance. Here the materials are selected for their visual and tactile and also their audible qualities. The lower level of the house has a concrete slab roof, forming the floor to the bedroom wing above. This concrete plane is played off against the similarly monolithic structural concept of the laminated timber plate roof, distorted into waves to span the distances. [SA Artefacts: http://www.artefacts.co.za./main/Buildings/bldgframes.php?bldgid=7639&archid=2121]
Sketch plan, sections and elevations on film – Fagan Archive Drawing No. 656/2.
10 Colour digital photo's of Die Es, created by Arthur Barker in April 2008, using a Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL camera.