Areas and Places

Old village charm inspires eco-sensitive Chapman's Bay Estate design

A panoramic view of Chapman’s Bay Estate in Noordhoek, Cape Town.

Kommetjie architect Steve Lennard is inspired by charming old villages characterised by a sense of uniformity enlivened with splashes of individual character. He has brought this design philosophy and eco-sensitive architectural style to play at the new Chapman’s Bay Estate, which neighbours the Table Mountain National Park in Noordhoek.

“When developing a new residential estate the aim is for a level of consistency, without sacrificing individuality – many old towns and villages illustrate the charm and tranquillity that can be achieved, so we studied historic examples to ensure we captured this subtle balance,” says Lennard.

The 47.5-hectare estate will comprise of 144 contemporary homes, with townhouses as well as freestanding Wetland, Courtyard and Avenue units. The three design options take into consideration views, slopes, wind direction and access points, and each has three roof options: pitched (traditional), mono pitched (modern) and planted concrete (green), allowing for nine basic variations but an almost infinite number of subtle tweaks to create living spaces with bespoke design elements and unique character.

For Lennard, the primary focus lies in reducing the visual impact by digging the houses into the sloping ground, and using colours and materials that blend seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation.

“Housing developments should give the sense that man has taken some care and concern over the landscape, has tailored his needs to reduce his impact,” explains Lennard.

The gatehouse complex on Ou Kaapse Weg has been completed, providing the first physical impression of Chapman’s Bay Estate’s eco-sensitive architectural style and exemplifies Lennard’s design ethos: the planted roof, banked planting and stone work at the entrance, neutralise the impact of the hard surfaced area required at the entrance to an estate, and within the roof planting is a solar water heating system.

A team of environmental impact specialists, ecologists and Fynbos experts are working together to ensure Chapman’s Bay Estate is home to endemic flora and fauna; the natural wetlands are being preserved and enhanced to protect the endangered Leopard Toad, while the establishment of Fynbos in the larger common areas is being encouraged through the extensive clearing of alien vegetation.

“This is an extraordinalrily low density development, 3 units per hectare with much of the land given over to nature and open spaces,” says Lennard. “The impression I want to create is of a scattering of houses nestled among the natural vegetation.”

Phase 5 of the development has been launched after Phases 1 and 2 sold out as did 75 % of available stock in Phases 3 and 4. Phase 5 comprises 3 bedroom Courtyard units starting at R4 150 000 and 3 and 4 bedroom Avenue units starting at R4 925 000.