Hidden in the leafy suburb of Higgovale in Cape Town is where international furniture superstar Jan te Lintelo and his partner Lars Nikolajsen decided to build their home almost 20 years ago. Bridge House, as it’s known, was built in the early noughties and quickly attained iconic status. Its owners, founders of the global furniture brand Linteloo, still love it just as much as they did when they first moved in.
In an exclusive video tour, we discover the story behind the abode with Anya van der Merwe and Macio Miszewski of Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects (VDMMA).
We chat to Anya and Macio to find out more.
Describe VDMMA in three words.
Conceptual, committed, consistent.
What excites you most about architecture?
The opportunity it provides to make spaces that people enjoy using in their everyday life. Ultimately, to make spaces that are uplifting.
Have you had any favourite projects thus far?
Every project is a favourite project. There are no favourite children in life – why should there be favourite projects?
Do you have a favourite style of architecture and if so, why?
Similarly, we enjoy (almost) all architectural experiences, as long as they are conceptual, committed, consistent. There is nothing worse than empty-vessel architecture – ultimately useless due to its need to satisfy image, marketability, status and immediate gratification. Architecture should serve society and not the demands of consumption.
Which one factor do you always look out for when building?
Longevity, clarity, honesty, fit for purpose – but with joy, and maybe even wit, secretly residing.
What’s on your architecture bucket list?
Vernacular architecture fascinates us, because it responds so effortlessly to years of cultural underpinnings, to climate, to available materials and methodologies. If we can visit, study and hopefully understand even a smidgen of that process – to try to respect similar principles when we design ourselves – our cities will be wiser and richer.