House Harteveld

Mossel Bay, Western Cape

House Harteveld isn’t located on a conventional site, but its client felt this neglected old school building held some potential to create their home in the center of the Mossel Bay CBD.

The brief asked for a sensitive but innovative alteration /addition to accommodate their lifestyle. There were two specific criteria: 1) optimize the ocean views and 2) block the road traffic noise.

The site abuts a busy road – the Main road into Mossel Bay. Therefore the architects were keen to turn the main aspect of the house away from the traffic towards North & the view – the ocean with the Outeniqua Mountains. The house has 2 sides. One façade features a juxtapose garage design where old and new is in direct contrast to one another. There is also the angled high boundary wall designed as sound barrier to create a hard barrier between the two zones.

The ordering and clarity between the existing building and addition is carried through in the application of architectural language, the use of materials and colour. The existing house was built in the early 1900’s , with typical cape Dutch gables, sandstone plinth and internally some Oregon pine detail features. It was a landmark building on Marsh Street, but never had any significant heritage value. A few years ago a demolition application was granted, but luckily the owners never followed through with the demolition. The approach to separate the old house from the new buildings by using a different architectural language – sensitive to the existing but in keeping with the present.

The alternate façade, facing the sea, has floor to ceiling doors and windows leading onto an expansive balcony. To maximize the view of the ocean and northern sunlight, we located the addition of the main bedroom next to the study and living areas of the house. The existing structure was re-configured as to house the kitchen, the dining area, dedicated TV lounge, and 2 kids bedrooms. A generous concrete balcony interlinked the completed structure, increasing the sense of space. The new main bedroom addition to the house has a box-like form, featuring a mono-pitch roof and clear storey windows. It is light wherever you stand in the bedroom! The Guest suite is located directly underneath the main bedroom box – separate entrance, total privacy.

The choice of materials was largely guided by the existing structure to further enhance the concept of historical vs contemporary.

A quiet neutral palette of materials and colours was chosen, many of which were already there.

This is now a family home that is well-loved and well-lived in.


Coetzee | Alberts Architects Residential Projects: House Harteveld

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