RECEIVED A REGIONAL AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE FROM THE LIMPOPO INSTITUTE FOR ARCHITECTURE (2011-2012)
RECEIVED A NATIONAL AWARD OF MERIT AND FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS (2013-2014)
RECEIVED A NATIONAL AWARD OF EXCELLENCE FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS (2013-2014)
The house was designed for Theodor & Thea Kleynhans and their three daughters. It is situated on the outskirts of the town of Marble Hall bordering the natural bushveld landscape of the neighbouring farm. A portion of the large site (two consolidated erven) already had established indigenious vegetation including mature trees.
The house was designed with a more solid southern street façade to create privacy, while it opens up onto the natural landscape on the northern side.
From the street, stark geometric lines characterize the house. The various building elements are defined by contrasting materials and textures of stone, off-shutter concrete and plaster.
Upon entering the site, the first of four stonewalls leads one up onto an elevated walkway through an opening in an off-shutter concrete wall, and through a courtyard space before entering the house itself. The opening in the concrete wall forms a gateway in the entrance procession. The courtyard serves as an intermediate space between inside and outside. Scale is reduced progressively to a more intimate height before entering the house.
The design is characterized by four stonewalls placed in a radial organization at 90 degree angles to each other. From the entrance space these walls extend as linear elements, reaching out to the context. They divide the house into three distinct functional zones and define the circulation routes around which the different rooms of the house are arranged. Stone from the site was used to construct these walls, linking the building to its neighbouring natural landscape.
The first of these functional zones, and the one that is directly entered into is the living area. It is an open plan space with glass sliding doors connecting it to the garden and pool. Glass doors slide away into a cavity on the eastern end of the space, opening it up unto the patio, allowing it to be either separate from or part of the living space. Supporting service spaces are situated on the southern side of the living area. Inspired by the simple agricultural barn structures found in the area, the steel roof structure with galvanized sheeting (for both ceiling and covering) brings an industrial element to the design and contrasts with the otherwise modernist stone, masonry and concrete structure.
The bedrooms, each with its own amenities, form the second functional zone. They are separated from the living space but still live out onto the garden.
The third functional zone comprises of the kid’s playroom, garages and service areas.
With the garden design architectural elements like platforms, terraces and articulated garden steps are used to extend the building outdoors and to form a transition between the house and the natural landscape.
The design aimed to capture the raw beauty and simplicity of traditional South African farm architecture in a modernist and contemporary way. Its successful execution is testimony to the meticulous involvement of the owners and the working relationship they had with the architects throughout the design and construction phases.
Photos by Thomas Gouws and Dook (courtesy of VISI Magazine)