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Imbizo House

Project Type : Private Homes

Services : Architectural Design

Location : South Africa

Size : 500sqm

Photography : Jan Ras

Status : Completed

Imbizo House is a holiday home set high in the hills above the picturesque fishing town of Knysna on South Africa’s Western Cape.
The three-bedroom house was commissioned by a South African client and his family who live in the UK but wanted a second home where they could bring together both branches of their family. Socialising is central to the purpose of the house, and a layout of interconnected spaces was conceived as a contemporary take on an imbizo – the Zulu word for a gathering. With its traditional African ritual references, a large open-planned living space flanked by generous terraces forms the heart of the home where friends and families can gather.

Project Architects: Rik Ørts-Hansen and TCNO Architects

Project Type : Private Homes

Services : Architectural Design

Location : South Africa

Size : 500sqm

Photography : Jan Ras

Status : Completed

Imbizo House is a holiday home set high in the hills above the picturesque fishing town of Knysna on South Africa’s Western Cape.
The three-bedroom house was commissioned by a South African client and his family who live in the UK but wanted a second home where they could bring together both branches of their family. Socialising is central to the purpose of the house, and a layout of interconnected spaces was conceived as a contemporary take on an imbizo – the Zulu word for a gathering. With its traditional African ritual references, a large open-planned living space flanked by generous terraces forms the heart of the home where friends and families can gather.

Project Architects: Rik Ørts-Hansen and TCNO Architects

Project Type : Private Homes

Services : Architectural Design

Location : South Africa

Size : 500sqm

Photography : Jan Ras

Status : Completed

Imbizo House is a holiday home set high in the hills above the picturesque fishing town of Knysna on South Africa’s Western Cape.
The three-bedroom house was commissioned by a South African client and his family who live in the UK but wanted a second home where they could bring together both branches of their family. Socialising is central to the purpose of the house, and a layout of interconnected spaces was conceived as a contemporary take on an imbizo – the Zulu word for a gathering. With its traditional African ritual references, a large open-planned living space flanked by generous terraces forms the heart of the home where friends and families can gather.

Project Architects: Rik Ørts-Hansen and TCNO Architects

“The challenge for designers is to understand the clients’ cultural aspirations for a project (what they want to experience and emulate), and the cultural context of the site itself. These clients felt that the house was a curious merger of two worlds whilst maintaining a relaxed and calming space for shared memories and generations to come.”

– Guy Ailion, Partner

The design concept was an experimental approach to creating a contemporary hub with traditional, African ritual references where friends and families could gather and socialise. The concept of an imbizo (gathering in Zulu, usually a meeting place of a village called by the traditional leader) sought to create a central hub where guests and family would congregate during the day and night before retreating to separate bedrooms access by short galleries.

See Imbizo House in the following publications:

Arch Daily / Rethinking the Future