An award-win­ning de­sign

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Al­though at first the Whit­fields en­vi­sioned a log home, Dal and Neal sug­gested a com­bi­na­tion of light and heavy­weight steel – not only to ac­com­mo­date the chal­lenges of the site, but also to ad­here to a non­nego­tiable bud­get of R1.5 mil­lion. “We’d never heard of light steel be­fore, but the idea ex­cited us,” says Fiona.

Neal ex­plains that the use of light steel was first and fore­most a prac­ti­cal so­lu­tion. Be­cause of the ex­tremely steep slope, the team needed to come up with a light struc­ture – one that did not re­quire heavy re­in­forced brick and con­crete work to re­tain the house.

Fiona says: “We had a very tight bud­get and the ar­chi­tects, who also acted as project man­agers, were amaz­ing at mak­ing it work.”

The con­struc­tion was such a huge suc­cess that it bagged two ar­chi­tec­tural awards: the 2017 East­ern Cape In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects Re­gional Award of Merit and the 2018 Coro­brik South African In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects Na­tional Award of Com­men­da­tion.

“I’m thrilled for these young dy­namic ar­chi­tects who had a great vi­sion,” says Fiona. >>

Wooden walk­ways and decks are lo­cated among the trees grow­ing on the slope, cre­at­ing a lovely tree house ef­fect.

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