Tree House Constantia

  • Prize
    Winner in Interior House Design
  • Company/Firm
    Malan Vorster Architecture
  • Designer
    Malan Vorster Architecture Interior Design
  • Other Credit
    Photo Credit: Mickey Hoyle
  • Location
    Cape Town, South Africa
  • Project Date

Inspired by the trees on the estate, the client requested a cabin-like, one-bedroomed hide-away resembling a treehouse.

The structure is located in a small clearing amongst forest-like gardens, and responds similarly to the verticality of the surrounding trees in order to maximize views from the highest portion of the site. Inspiration was drawn from the timber cabins of Horace Gifford and Kengo Kuma’s notions of working with the void or in-between space, while Louis Kahn’s mastery of pure form and the detailing ethic of Carlo Scarpa informed a process of geometric restraint and handcrafted manufacturing.

The organizational diagram of the structure explores the pure geometry of a square, with each side divided into three modules and where two of these modules determine the diameter of a circle on each of the four sides of the square – resulting in a pin-wheel plan layout. A square is directional and a circle not – the square relates to the North/South site geometry and the four circles to the organic and natural surroundings.