Cape Woolamai House – Hortus Conclusus


Cape Woolamai House – Hortus Conclusus

Hortus conclusus, a latin term meaning “enclosed garden”, has taken root in the design of the Cape Woolamai House. In responding to the extreme environmental conditions of its coastal setting, the house is designed as a protective mass that allows for the provision of a contemplative internal garden that vitalises the program within.

This idea of the walled garden takes reference to monastic healing gardens and medieval architecture, and so the design takes cues from classic rationality in repetition of the concrete structure and perimeter colonnade. The internal landscape is an abstracted sanctuary from the elements, with its vibrancy of textures and sensory attributes.

As such, we look forward to seeing how this idea, and this project, will develop in the coming months.


A Peri-style colonnade garden example located in the lower level of the Trie Cloister at The Cloisters museum and gardens in Fort Tryon Park, northern Manhattan.


Site context sketch of the Cape Woolamai House, situated in the existing coastal dune landscape.