Residence 1485 Franschoek


Residence 1485, a new edition to the KUBE architecture portfolio is nestled in the mountains overlooking the town of Franschoek. The appointment is the result of an invited competition. You can see the original entry here. With neighbours Chamonix Wine Estate and Black Elephant Winters the location suggests a lifestyle of congeniality, an aspect clearly reflected in the open plan living arrangements and relaxed atmosphere embodied by the design. Courtyards inhabited by vegetable and herb gardens hint at the client’s approach to a self-sustaining lifestyle and holistic approach to living.


The architectural character was inspired by the works of architect Marcio Kogan.  Kogan’s work reflects a particular reference for the landscape and its relationship with his buildings, an  approach for which the client had a particular appreciation. Site topography, prevailing weather conditions and views received special attention with the client requiring an integrated approach with regard to environmental concerns from the very beginning


The rammed earth walls, which set up the North-South and East-West axis, structure circulation while their thermal mass assists with temperature regulation during winter and summer.  The water which circulates along the East-West axis flows from the existing dam down to the reservoir at the bottom of the site. Evaporative cooling will offer additional relief from the mid-summer heat as the breeze passes over and into the home. These waterways are mirrored in the roof space where box gutters gather rain from the roofs and in turn, discharge into the rainwater tank in the basement.


Off-shutter concrete, timber and aluminium for the glazing make up the pallet while, the rammed earth walls establish the presence of the building in its context. The client, a well-established name in the interior design and joinery industry will be taking charge of the joinery component from the spacious workshop with its  commanding views over the town and valley below. Rock salvaged during the excavation process will be used in part for the construction of the building thereby tying it comfortably into the landscape which it inhabits. This will also significantly cut down on CO2 emissions which accompany transport of such materials.

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