Building a house t with a design that respond to the climate and heritage of the area was the main objective aimed by RPA (Rudolf Perold Argitek), the architectural practice of Rudolf Perold, who developed Klenwingerd (which means “small vineyard”), his own weekend retreat. Situated on the edge of the agricultural town of Prince Alfred Hamlet, in the Warmbokkeveld valley, South Africa, the house is placed at the back of a rectangular plot, beyond a peach orchard, at a certain distance from the street reclaiming beautiful mountain views.
A vineyard and a double row of poplars separate the house from the street in order to ensure intimacy. Its design draws on natural ventilation and regional heritage, detailing and materials being simple and cost-effective, with minimal impact on the site. Two service bands consisting in the entrance, the store room and the kitchen cross the plan perpendicularly and defines the principal accommodation in the long barn plan form: the living room, bedroom and wine cellar/library. Semi-private outdoor areas were created with partially walled courtyards on both sides of the home, which fix it into the landscape.
The extremes of the highland climate are negated through the passive climate control strategies such as floors, walls and roofs which are well isolated, light shelves with north sun shading to supply extensive daylight with limited summer heat again, and a pergola to provide sheltered outdoor space. There were also used strategies for power saving in the form of solar water heating and gas cooking.
Paved floors, white unplastered brickwork walls and plywood structural insulated panel ceilings are used to build it. The foundations and ring beams are made of steel and concrete, while laminated beams and structural insulated panels form the structure of the roof. A simple concept, a contemporary design and the spirit of nature bring harmony and tranquility helping the owner disconnect from the stressful daily work. The interiors receives enough natural light during the day making the space welcoming airy. Like the traditional Cape Dutch architecture, this weekend house features timber clerestory windows provide high level cross ventilation, while other small windows set flush with the exterior wall.
Photos © Rudolf Perold