The site is located in Boardwalk Manor Estate, in the Olympus- Bronberg area, east of Pretoria. Situated in the private north-east corner of the estate, it borders a stream and opens up to a strip of indigenous forest.
The estate is known for its prescriptive 'tuscan' architectural guidelines. The client brief however called for a contemporary South African home, challenging the architect to explore creative solutions within these limitations.
The tectonic design elements prescribed by the architectural guidelines were analyzed, reduced to their essence and reinterpreted within a contemporary South-African context. Texture & colour were used throughout the house to accentuate separate design elements. The palette of earthy colours harmonizes the house with both the natural and the 'tuscan' estate context.
Orientation and view dictates the functional layout of the house. Scenic views of the stream and forest are optimised by large transparent glass walls on the northern facade. These glass elements, including the balustrades, are kept frameless as far as possible not to distract from the view. In contrast the western & southern facades form a more solid screen towards the neighbouring houses. This combination of solid & transparent sets up a dialogue with the landscape and creates an effect of rural isolation from within the house.
The building form is composed of two simple pitch-roofed structures linked by a double volume living area. The circular shape of the Kitchen/TV room acts as central pivot between the various living spaces, connecting the main circulation routes. The main entrance is marked by a fragment of this circular form - emphasized by its height & stone texture, it suggests movement and draws one into the house. The ground floor houses the social & service spaces while the more private spaces (TV room & bedroom suites) are assigned to the first floor.
Photos by David Ross (courtesy of VISI Magazine)