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House van Niekerk
Durbanville, Western Cape

COLYN and MEIRING: Architect


SMALL, square in plan with an open court in the centre, this house forms a unit by itself. It has been planned for extension of another bedroom and garage at the rear when present garage will become a guest room.

Once more one enters through a small, well-planted court down a ramp to the living room at a slightly lower level than the rest of the house.

A screen wall set four feet from the glass provides privacy to the living room window on the street side without obscuring the view onto the Paarl mountain.

Living room and two bedrooms all look out onto the private garden to the north with doors leading out.

The small central court is protected from wind and provides complete privacy in the open.

The whole house has been planned to a 12 ft. (3.66m) module.

Small concrete footings where (sic) cast for steel stanchions consisting of 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 angles welded back to back in a cruciform shape. All rafters and purlins were fitted and the roof erected. Windows were fixed and only then were the walls built. Nowhere does any wall touch the ceiling. All walls are non-loadbearing and the roof floats free.

The plasticity of the 4 1/2 in. free curved yard walls as well as one in the garden even in its contrast forms a unity with the rigidity of the strictly modular plan.

Ref: Wale, Laurie (editor) c. 1964. New Home Building Ideas – Architects' Plans for Southern Africa. Purnell & Sons, Johannesburg: pgs 41-42.

[Submitted by William MARTINSON]

Writings about this entry

Wale, Laurie (Editor). 1962. New home building ideas : Architects' plans for southern Africa. Cape Town: Purnell & Sons. pg 37 ill, 41, 41 ill, 42, 42 ill