frankie pappas


house of the cape robin

elevated living
private architecture as a social act

house of the cape robin sits on a steeply sloping
facing towards the outeniqua mountains
with street access from the highest portion of the slope


the brief was to craft a compact home
which creates privacy from the south whilst opening up to northern views
a connected kitchen, scullery, lounge, and studio
– with a dining room opening out onto a verandah –
potential for a completely separate apartment to be built out in the future


two small houses one on top of the other
a main house above : a future apartment below
both units opening up towards the northern views while sheltering from southerly winds
designed to sit low into the landscape so as to avoid blocking the pedestrians’ views towards the outeniqua mountains
whilst still maintaining privacy for the owners
two long sloping wings sit at 60 degrees to one another
this configuration creates a triangular space between the two wings which opens up to the views
a bridge spans between these two wings
the bridge – and its intersections with the wings – creates the public living spaces of the house
while the wings accommodate the bedrooms and bathrooms towards the north
and the garages towards the south


house of the cape robin is built from a very simple set of materials
with concrete brick bagged inside and out
and off-shutter concrete floors and soffits
exterior doors and windows are manufactured from powder-coated aluminium
whilst all furniture, ceilings and interior doors are built from local plywood


the main floor provides
outside parking space and garages towards the south
a central dining room
is flanked by a kitchen and scullery to the west and a lounge and study to the east
whilst the bedrooms occupy the most northern portions of the main level
the lower ground floor is given over to
a future small two-bedroom apartment


all architecture – even a small home – can be a powerful social act