The client required their compact house in Pinelands, Cape Town to be enlarged and modernised in order to accommodate a growing family. The strategy was to open up the ground floor in order to connect the front garden with the back and to add a second storey that would capitalize on a previously unexplored view towards Table Mountain. The existing structural rhythm of the house suggested the development of four parallel zones or ‘tubes’ of space. These tubes were linked by a continuous passage bisecting it, and were developed three dimensionally to provide different ceiling heights as the spaces dictated. It also set up the parameters for the development of the external spaces and landscaping.
The ground floor houses all the entertainment spaces, whilst the first floor consists of bedrooms. A double volume entrance hall functions as the hub and all circulation revolves around and through it. The first floor passage cutting through the volumes also creates opportunities for natural light and transforms it into a gallery-type space. A roof garden creates an external space for the bedrooms and frames the view. Aesthetically House Somo is unashamedly contemporary and is a breath of fresh air between its conservative suburban neighbours.