Ilkley Crescent

Allen Kay

Situated on a small, sloped suburban plot with a tightly tapering trapezoidal shape and surrounded by other residences in close proximity, the project is concerned with plastic from, the need for privacy and the desire to create views and a sense of space that extend beyond the close confines of the site.

Project Team: Annemie van den Heever, Christiaan van Aswegen, Alex Geh, Paulo Teti, Arno van Wyk
Structural Engineers: DVH Consulting Engineers
Mechanical Engineers: Jo Lubbe & Associates
Quantity Surveyor: DAlQS
Environmental Engineers: Greenplan Consultants (PTY) Ltd
Contractor: Base Projects
Photographer: Jan Ras

This project is a dual dwelling in Sea Point, Cape Town bordering the Signal Hill Nature Reserve. The main challenge was to design a residence on a trapezoidal shaped site with the entrance being at its most narrow end. What unlocked this design was setting out a structural grid that runs parallel and at right angles to the longest neighbouring property line. This allowed for northern exposure, logical flow from public to private spaces, secluded courtyard gardens and living spaces that dissolve the indoor-outdoor divide. Care was taken to draw the eye towards the sweeping views without sacrificing privacy – privacy is the ultimate luxury in a dense residential neighbourhood.

The client comes from a fashion background, and they have a knack for evocative references. Conversations were about material and mood. James Bond and Edna Mode came up once or twice. Therefore the project was conceived as a series of horizontal sculpted concrete plains overhanging, jutting out and staggered along the inclined site. Monolithic walls and clean planar forms define the interior, outdoor courtyards and terraces. Forms are dynamic and clean to create a spacious feel that makes the most of the restrictive site.

The concrete waffle slabs visible on the interior and exterior spaces gives a rhythmic, structured quality to the design and provide an additional façade. Glazed sliding doors vanish into wall cavities creating seamless interior-exterior flow. This effectively doubles the principal living spaces and main bedrooms. With close attention to detail, colour and texture are hallmarks of the project. Unusual finishes, selected both for their unique aesthetic character and durable, timeless feel, are combined to great effect. This project aimed to use exterior finishes that would age and change with time, softening into the landscape and acquiring a subtle patina.

Cover page article of the South African House and Leisure magazine. Issue # 290, May / June 2019
Cover page article of the UK Elle Decoration. Issue # 323, July 2019
Architectural Digest Germany. Issue # 201, July / August 2019

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