River Park Housing Project

As a consequence of the new political dispensation in 1994, the Johannesburg City Council embarked on a project to construct “top structures” (buildings) on already proclaimed and serviced land designated for housing. This particular development was called River Park and was located just across a tributary of the Jukskei River from the “established” white suburban area of Lombardy East and on the east bank of the river opposite Alexandra, a traditionally black township.
In the first phase of the proposed 700 family scheme, 150 units were built and occupied.

The houses were double storey, well orientated and provided good quality exterior space in the landscape whilst contributing to an active streetscape. Maximum internal volume was achieved within the limited budget constraints, giving a sense of lightness and scale. The proposal demonstrates that low-cost, high-density housing can be built with sensitivity to good design.

House Kennedy

The House is situated in a remarkable setting overlooking a beautiful stretch of unspoilt forested coast. A vertical forest of timber columns extends from the steeply sloping ground to support a series of raised wooden decks facing the Indian Ocean.

A cluster of tiled mono-pitched roofs clearly articulates the volume of each space. The exposed roof structure reinforces the strong Ndebele inspired diagonal geometry heightening the drama of the views to the ocean. The interior fragments at the periphery to incorporate a fringe of external decks, dissolving the boundary between inside and out.

The living area is treated as a single volume, the roof sloping to create space for bed deck mezzanines, allowing for many combinations of sleeping arrangements. Subtle changes in levels of the floors and ceilings, ensures that spaces are well defined yet have a strong vertical and horizontal continuity.

The house creates a unique environment that reconciles abstract architectural ideas with the need for ordinary, everyday living.

house kennedy