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Bantry Bay Apartment
Bantry Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape


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Award citation

This project by Jacobs Parker represents the radical reconfiguration of the layout for a recently sectional titled 1960's Sea Point apartment block. Designed for a foreign family, the brief made intense design demands on the architects to effect a 'lock up and go' space that would not only accommodate the needs of the new owners, but also be suitable for outside use by friends and others.

The design response is apparent in introduction of a linear armature, diagonally crossing the envelope and connecting the entrance with a corner window. Not only has this reconfigured the conventional orthogonal planning approach, but it has altered the experience of space.

The space has been considerably extended. By connecting the entrance with a corner window, this diagonal element has provided a constructive measure from which to organise the apartment. Its thickness provides a hidden depth in which to accommodate onerous demands for ablutions and the storage of all the owners' moveable possessions.

The palette of materials and finishes has also been applied with discipline. The overall transparency has been enhanced by the inclusion of carefully detailed and crafted folding doors between living and sleeping areas.

The value of design as a spatial discourse has been imaginatively deployed in resolving what might easily have been a utilitarian retrofit. The significance of good design in the realm of smaller works that require modest interventions is a field of work that required re-evaluation with the South African design community, and this project provides an exemplary application of that sensibility.

(PrArch - The Cape Institute for Architecture. Vol 13 October 2011)

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.