The design of House OConnor had to make the best of the incredible views of the Southern face of Table Mountain. Further to this, the brief was to create a striking, avante-garde yet homely space with a large open-plan living / dining / kitchen. The architects also wanted to create a seamless link between the indoors and the outdoors.

The use of steel was important from the word “go” as it is the only way the architects and engineers could achieve the large openings and uninterrupted spans necessary to achieve the vision. The project team worked very well together to solve some complex structural challenges, most of which were made possible with the use of structural steel. This is most evident in the large open plan space, the glass and steel “forest link” structure, the floating concrete roof over the entrance hall as well as in the mono-pitch roof structures which interrupt the main “flat” roofs of the house.

The living space is striking in the sense that there are no columns or supports interrupting the space even though one of the mono-pitch roof structures is placed at an angle over the space. These mono-pitch structures comprise steel portal frames with bamboo cladding on the inside and SAFLOK 700 cladding on the outside. The north-facing sections are glazed to frame views of the mountain from deep within the house and also to let winter sun into spaces which would otherwise be cold and dark. One of the corners of the main mono-pitch roof over the living room is supported on a large steel I-beam. This was the only viable solution to this problem as concrete beam would have had a depth of almost 1m to do the same job and this would have interrupted the view!

This same steel beam was essential in order to create an open corner between two large sliding doors from the lounge and dining room. Where one would normally have a column on this corner, the architect and engineer were able to omit this due to the use of steel; when the doors are open there is a complete free-flow of space and uninterrupted views.
The use of steel enabled the architect to create a walkway (the “forest link”) from the living wing to the bedroom wing of the house. There are no structural supports along this walkway, which creates the feeling of walking outside through the garden, though one is still in the house.

Another notable feature of the house is the floating concrete roof over the entrance hall. The use of slim steel posts made it possible to support the roof in such a way that it appears to float above the walls. The gap between the walls and the slab is glazed which means that the underside of the slab is washed with light reflected off the surrounding roofs during the day and with light from strip lighting at night.

Other than these striking architectural features, the use of steel hollow sections for columns and beams made it possible to have large windows and an uninterrupted pergola structure at the outdoor entertainment area.
A steel walkway structure with a bamboo ceiling greets one as you arrive at the house and leads you to the front door, making steel the main element of the first impression of house Oconnor.

Project motivation editorials are provided by the project nominator. If any technical details, company names or product names are incorrect, please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
Physical address of the project  

 Street Address

Town

Province

20 GEMINI WAY,
CONSTANTIA,
CAPE TOWN
Google Maps link  
STRUCTURAL STEELWORK
Completion date of steelwork JUNE 2019
Completion date of full project OCTOBER 2019
Tonnage and steel profiles used ……….TON.
100X100X4 SHS
120X120X4 SHS
120X120X5 SHS
203X133X25 RHS
76X76X4 SHS
160X80X5 RHS
200X100X8 RHS
IPE 180’s
457X191X98 I-BEAMS
175X74X2 LIPPED CHANNEL
125X50X20X2.5 LIPPED CHANNEL
Project Team Role Company
Nominator Safintra 
Client/ Developer PRIVATE
Architect JOE DE VILLIERS architects
Structural Engineer GENI consulting engineers
Engineer  
Quantity Surveyor  
Project Manager JOE DE VILLIERS architects
Main Contractor ACCURA construction solutions
Steelwork Contractor ACCURA construction solutions
Steel Erector ACCURA construction solutions
Cladding Manufacturer  
Cladding Supplier YOUNGMAN ROOFING
Cladding Contractor ACCURA construction solutions
Corrosion Protection  
Galvanising  
Corrosion Protection  
Paintwork Contractor ACCURA construction solutions
Photographer, Photo competition  
CLADDING (If applicable)
Completion date of cladding OCTOBER 2019
Cladding profile/ type used SAFLOK 700
Cladding area coverage 360m2 including roof

If you were a part of this project, and your company details are incorrect or missing – please notify the SAISC so that the error can be corrected.