This sensational house is situated on a 43,055 square foot (4,000 square meter) site in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a total floor area of 26,910 square feet (2,500 square meters). The owner requested Nico Van Der Meulen Architects to design a modern, glamorous, open plan, light-filled house with views from all rooms into the garden.
The porte cochere is a suspended glass and stainless steel structure, with a view into the house and a stainless steel and glass staircase, suspended over a heated pond, (which in summer acts as a temperature stabilizer, and in winter as a giant heater) with a circular, raised glass water feature in the background, framed by a beam two storeys high.
An atrium between the family room and the kitchen allows ventilation to cool the house naturally, without compromising security, while a roller shutter door drops down automatically when the alarm is activated, cutting the top floor off from the ground floor. The walls to the family room and bar are clad with marble strips, glass inlays and LED strip lights.
You can jump from the main bedroom into the pool, swim to the gym, swim back and use the steel spiral staircase to go back to the main bedroom, or tip a tipsy friend into the pool from his barstool! The lanai opens up totally to the outdoor pool with a deck, spilling into a kid’s splash pool at the bottom.
A basement under the house has parking for about 12 cars, with a view into the pool, and a top-lit art gallery which forms the passage between the garages and the lift. A feature wall opposite the living areas is clad in stone from Jerusalem, with an aloe tree growing in front of it. The stone comes from buildings hundreds of years old, being demolished in Israel to make space for development. The same stone is used in the dining room, flowing through the glass wall to the outside.
The main suite has a small lounge and built-in kitchenette, with a drop-down screen and projector built into the bulkhead. The main bathroom is a study in glass and transparency: The North and east walls are glass and slides open, even if privacy is required, the doors can be left open and the automatic blinds can be lowered, still allowing views and ventilation, but appears translucent from outside. The double volume glass enclosure over the pool can be opened from the balcony outside the children’s bedrooms, allowing a cooling updraft over the pool. From another balcony the door overlooking the double volume in the family room can be opened, again resulting in a cooling chimney effect to the living areas.