LocationPretoria, South Africa
Text description provided by the architects. The House is situated in one of Pretoria's oldest Golf Estates, which has already been extensively developed. Our client was particularly open-minded in buying one of the last open plots in the estate, an extremely rocky piece of ground not many would see opportunity in.
The site is defined by two rocky outcrops, generously dotted with indigenous flora, posing serious challenges in situating the building without damaging the environment or incurring serious costs in erecting a conventional structure.
From the onset the client’s brief was clear, we were to provide for 4 bedrooms (en-suite), a study, an open plan living area, dining room, kitchen as well as the given ancillary functions. The twist was the structure was to be predominantly concrete.
From inception it was clear that the natural environment found on the site should be disturbed as little as possible, only using the two rocky outcrops as the footings for the structure. A palette of Steel, Glass & Concrete was chosen, attempting to keep the materials as true to their rawest forms as possible. The building spans between the outcrops, positioned carefully between a collection of prominent Appelblaar & Karee Trees. The importance of this natural context is amplified through its close proximity as one moves through the house.
Maintaining the concept of touching the earth lightly, there are only two access points into the house, 2 sets of stairs that seemingly float above the natural ground level.
The Residence is also equipped with a Solar Hot Water System, as well as integrated Intelligent Controls, circulating Solar Heated Water through the structure, reducing the house’s need for Municipal electricity. Similarly, Double glazing was employed throughout, reducing the need for active cooling & heating.
In conclusion, the design marries the romance of South Africa’s Highveld Landscape with the contemporary concrete & glass designed house, creating an interesting contrast & relationship between the amenities of contemporary living while reducing the impact thereof.