On the weekend the SA Institute of Architects (Saia) bestowed its highest honour on five building projects: two memorials, and office building, and two homes.

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This is one of those homes, the Western Cape "tree house" that won Malan Voster Architects an award for excellence at the Corobrik SAIA Awards.

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The house is on the Paarman family (of Ina Paarman spices fame) estate in the Constantia winelands of Cape Town.

It is designed to be "a floating structure situated among the trees, lightly touching the ground".

"This ‘treehouse’ by Malan Foster Architects, is not indulgent but highly restrained," Saia's judging panel said.

"The architects have taken their cues from some of the master architects who have, throughout time and space, created some of the most iconic and respected structures of this genre."

"This project was painstakingly created over a relatively long time on the site itself."

The "weathering steel" used was laser cut to create its crafted finish.

"Its structure and materials are experienced as fragile and ‘temporary’, while its relationship to place and its immediate context could be perceived as its only sense of permanence," the judges said.

"Thus, Treehouse Paarman makes a critically important contribution to the local and international architectural traditions and precedent."

Watch: design plans, more photos, and aerial footage of the house.

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