Architects: studioMAS architects + urban designers
Location: Forest Town, Johannesburg, South Africa
Landscape Architect: African Environmental Design
Project Year: 2005
Photographs: Tristan McLaren & studioMAS
The Forest Town Long House is one of a kind. It responds to the many layers that make up South African living, such as safety, comfort and privacy to create a contemporary urban home. Unlike most current architecture in Johannesburg, the building itself functions as the boundary wall, containing three levels behind its façade. The basement level is flush with street and contains a cellar, workshop and an office with a private patio on either side of a garage. The next level contains the main living and dining areas as well as a movie theatre and family room. To one side, the open plan kitchen can be found that has direct access to an extensive 5m wide by 30m long vegetable garden. From this level, one can either access the study on basement level or, once the 12m long glass sliding door is open, the densely grown garden and swimming pool beyond.
Two mezzanines overlook the double volume entertainment area and living room; a reading room and a study. From the study landing, two bedroom wings stretch out. The main bedroom with en suite bathroom and dressing room can be found to the west, where the rest of the bedrooms are found to the east. While the northern façade consists of smaller windows facing the street, the southern façade is almost completely glazed, framing the natural canvas of the magnificent garden. Completely hidden from view the back of the house opens onto a forest of massive trees and dense ground cover.