For an award winning screenwriter, the daughter of exiled anti-Apartheid icons; looking for a lifestyle change from urban London living, the perfect site of her new home was to be found in returning to South Africa. With expansive views in all directions, natural light and rich veldgrass; it was the site and it's local context that informed the building's architectural expression and material language - but most importantly the approach to design. Sensitive and responsible, the architecture was informed by the client's modern living program and personal culture, while a gentle, critically regionalist detailing ensures the building fits perfectly within the surrounding farmland landscape.
Floating off the ground, reducing site impact, all the building materials are responsibly sourced, having their full lifecycle considered -all steel used is recyclable and easily disassembled- the stone being a locally sourced waste product from mine dumps.
The building functions organically having been shaped by passive design principles; ensuring maximum thermal efficiency throughout the year by means of natural ventilation flowing through clerestory windows and by the natural convection of a nearby freshwater pond. House and nature become one; with courtyards offering both greenery and also generous wells of natural light and heat- similarly being brought into each room by the clever use and orientation of the roof pitch, which also serves to harvest all falling rainwater, stored on-site to supply the beautiful natural pool and irrigate the garden.
The building is an exciting example of responsive green design and contemporary South African architectural expression.
Project team: Principal architect: Carl Jacobsz - Collaborator: Dan de Kretser