The architectural concept for this house is derived from trees and their significance in an African context, particularly as shade and shelter and as a place where schoolchildren, elders and others meet to escape from the elements. The site has a group of Umbrella Pines which served as the specific inspiration.

HF&P made the concept come to life structurally by designing 5 unique composite “tree columns” which support a large composite timber & lightweight concrete canopy that acts as the roof. This allowed for a deep strip of uninterrupted glazing directly underneath the ceiling, adding to the feeling of being outside in the shelter of tall trees and bringing in natural light as well as the views. The tree-columns and canopy are surrounded by a completely separate steel and glass envelope supported on a stone base.

Project Information:

Architect: VDMMA

Client: Private


South African Steel Construction Winner 1998

SAIA project award 1999

World Architecture Fair Best Building in Africa and the Middle East 2001