Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Spa House
Hout Bay, Western Cape


2011CIfA Award for Architecture

Award citation

The Spa House is sited on the slopes of Constantiaberg overlooking the Hout Bay harbour and Karbonkelberg.

The house is designed to provide ancillary entertainment functions to the existing main house including swimming, recreational, spa and residential facilities.

The architects have successfully created a phenomenological delight that uses space, light, air and water to integrate the building into the powerful landscape of mountain, rocks, sky and sea. Described by the architects as a rain pavilion the building is conceived as "a hovering set of abstract sculptural elements, lightly suspended like clouds over a large (and extended) waterscape".

This "cloud" analogy whilst limited in its formal and material interpretation (think SANAA and other Japanese contemporaries) has allowed the architects to create a surprising amount of volumetric complexity and spatial interplay both internally and between inside and outside.

The interlocking volumes create unexpected spatial juxta-positions, garden-in-pool, spa-in-garden-in-pool, etc.

Attention to detail is immaculate and the afromosia timber cladding imbues the building with an Italian sensibility that still feels at home on the Constantiaberg.

The jury unanimously felt that the Spa House was most deserving of a meritorious award.

(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.