Matt Pretorius Architecture is based in the southern seaside of Cape Town. Founded by Matt Pretorius associated with Elemental Studio and it’s dynamic young team of architectural practitioners. MPA focuses on contemporary design excellence in architecture.

Matt Pretorius Architecture design

Kalk Bay Cottages

Double dwelling on Kalkbay mountainside.
Project completed in 2015

Situated in the west of Kalk Bay and orientated easterly with far-reaching views across the False Bay coast, this property sits within the fishing village hub – an area rich with cultural heritage now offering a modern bohemian lifestyle by the sea.

The project started as a steep open site surrounded by neighbouring buildings. The brief was to design two units fitting to the Kalk Bay culture with generous garage space and external garden terraces that flowed into the living functions of the house.

The design approach was to break down the mass at the front of the building by structuring it to read as two small cottages perched on top of a stone base. Following the steep slope and site size the layout utilises three levels. The upper level for bedrooms, middle for living spaces linking to the garden terraces and the lower floor being garages.


With a concept to eliminate the middle level from the visual impact of the building, the design was able to create the illusion of the upper level ‘floating’ above the stone plinth which houses the garages. This was achieved by wrapping the roof sheeting down the walls of the upper level and setting the structure forward in order to cast shadows on the glazed facade of the middle level. The stone plinth, made entirely from rock on site, visually appears as the natural ground being elevated to meet the roof. This then shortens the frontage of the building and to the eye appears as only two levels and not three.