The Park Road project in Woodstock took advantage of the City of Cape Town’s new densification laws to build multiple dwellings on a single residential site. An old shed located behind the existing main house was converted into two additional living units connected together with a new shared courtyard space.

It is standard practice with old buildings to chip away the plaster in order to reveal: 1) the history of changes to the brickwork 2) confirm the integrity of the existing structure. This process revealed that the neglect of the existing shed over many years resulted in water seeping into the certain parts of the walls turning the clay bricks into a mush/brick paste. It also revealed that one corner of the building was in fact only being held together by some very hardworking plaster. Chipping away some of this magic plaster caused the corner to collapse.

This old lady was fragile and in need of a new hip or two. We stabilised the structure with concrete buttresses shuttered from the old roof sheeting, imprinting the history of the old onto the new, while making beautiful wavy-shaped concrete. Due to the sensitivity of the existing walls we decided that no new openings can be cut into it. New openings were made by disassembling the brickwork from the top down, resulting in the building’s triangular shapes.

We used the base of these triangles to celebrate the removal of water from building, turning the building’s nemesis into a moment of joy. This project was completed in 2021.

Contractor: Stockland Construction

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Photography by CJ Chandler

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