New residence on a breathtaking remote site in Africa. A concrete podium structure contains accommodation, with large steel framed cantilevering canopies to create outdoor living spaces with panoramic views of the countryside.

WAN House of the Year Award 2012
RIBA International Award Winner 2013

Gota Dam is a stunning new-build house which is spectacularly situated on a granite rock overlooking a lake. Eckersley O’Callaghan were challenged with engineering the design of a structure that could be built within the constraints of both its natural location and its isolated and precarious site.

The 1500sqm building is conceived as a series of accommodation pavilions as a series of accommodation pavilions sitting beneath two, 8.5m long cantilevering roof canopies. The spaces between the pavilions and beneath the canopies create further outdoor rooms, sheltered from the sun and from the heavy seasonal rain. Two full height glazed boxes enclose the winter living areas.

The house sits on a varying range of levels from 112-116 metres above sea level with a 50m metre drop to the lake. The site had no public roads or highways nearby creating access issues during construction which had to be overcome.


Principle spaces have frameless, structural glass walls which are orientated to maximise the dramatic views beyond. The concrete for the structure, which is built into and onto the rock face, was supplied by a specially built mixing plant on site to overcome the remoteness of the site. The canopy roofs are supported by a series of lightweight steel trusses, and to improve the sustainability of the building, excavated rock was used in the external wall construction.

During construction issues such as hyper-inflation and lack of available materials also had to be overcome. All labour and materials were locally sourced apart from specialist items such as the glass.



Studio Seilern | Muzia Sforza