This is a redesign and renovation of 1950′s house on a hill overlooking Johannesburg by Nico van der Meulen Architects. This stunning home is situated in Bedfordview, a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, with interior design by M Square Lifestyle Design. Most of the furniture was supplied by M Square Lifestyle Necessities. Little was added to the footprint of the existing house (except for the new garages), but almost all of the internal walls were removed to create the open plan layout and maximize the views. The 270 degree view can be enjoyed from just about every room in the house.
Frameless sliding/folding doors were used around the living area, enabling the area to function like a veranda during the mild days experienced almost year round. The pool infinity edge is cantilevered out nearly six meters, supported on a column and protrudes into the house when the doors are open, acting as a temperature stabilizer. The original cellar was retained as a wine cellar and a home theatre with views into the pool. A story was added containing the main suite, pajama lounge, kid’s study area and kid’s bedrooms. The original two kid’s bedrooms became a study, and the original main suite a guest suite. Extra garages were needed and the housekeeper’s cottage was built on this.
The original balcony is still visible in the next photograph, the new lanai and pool were built where the small lawn used to be.
The original house was north-facing, but on an extremely limited level platform: The site has a five story fall from the south-east to the north- west corner.
Werner van der Meulen designed the infinity edge pool to extend over the steep fall, placing it on a single 3m diameter column, cantilevering nearly six meters. He created a massive rock clad wall which bisects the building on a north-south axis, then transforms into a huge red-painted beam which helps to support the lanai roof.
The ground floor living space was gutted, and a large open plan, partially double volume living space housing the family room, dining room, kitchen and ancillary spaces created.
A new 6×13 meters lanai next to the pool was added on the only piece of usable land on the north side, growing out of the mountain, with spectacular views to the north and west.
Photos: David Ross, Barry Goldman and Nico van der Meulen
House Ber, the latest masterpiece by Nico van der Meulen Architects and M Square Lifestyle Design is an indication of what happens when granite, steel, light and water come together. Situated in Midrand, South Africa, the residence presents itself as a sequence of irregular steel bars randomly placed creating patterned facades which initially were conceived to represent security but now have become the very feature which distinguishes this house from its surrounding.
The house simply rectangular in form is structured around the living room as the center of this home. Unimposing and nearly invisible, the frameless glass doors seamlessly separate the interior from the exterior. Thresholds’ being kept to a minimum leaves one wondering whether you have just stepped inside or outside.
Stairs disguised as Granite slabs punched with steel inserts, one cannot help but glide down the entrance hall into the living spaces. M Square Lifestyle Design’s final product presents black steel inlays that are seen throughout the house in various forms. Ensuring that each room captured a feeling of transparency, M Square Lifestyle Design demonstrated their ability to work with materials in their purest forms, making use of natural products like marble floors and Caesarstone kitchen counter tops. The illuminated ceilings highlight the contrasts between different textures and forms, leaving you in a state of anticipation as you move through this house. In keeping with the theme of randomly placed steel bars, the interior designers conceptualized a line drawn across the house linking all elements and spaces together. In doing so, they managed to create a feeling of connection that can be felt throughout the house.
M Square Lifestyle Necessities provided the final touch in furnishing this house with European furniture pieces and lighting to compliment the design, while Regardt van der Meulen’s sculpture livens up the space in its tri-dimensionality.
Photos: Barend Roberts, David Ross, Victoria Pilcher
Cal Kempton Park is a contemporary residence situated in Johannesburg, South Africa, designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects. The client wished to have a generous-sized family home with separate living quarters their adult son and two daughters. The property is a private estate, so the house was designed to be open to the street, with a glass link across a koi-pond as the entrance. This also separated the guest wing with the son’s bedroom over it from the main house, creating almost a cottage, consisting of the gym, guest suite, double garage, the son’s lounge/study and his suite.
The crescent shape of the stands determined the shape of the house towards the street, as the architects tried to keep the house as far south on the stand as possible, because the stands were fairly shallow towards the north. To get enough light into the house, they used double volume windows, deeply shaded to only allow winter sun into the living areas. By using a huge internal balcony upstairs and an atrium they were able to give the two daughters two north facing suites and lounge, with balconies both on the north and south side. The home blurs the boundaries of indoor and out through the use of sliding/folding doors, enabling the lanai/bar and family/breakfast nooks to be open to the pool and internal atrium.
Photos: Courtesy of Nico van der Meulen Architects
Moss Oaklands Residence is a stunning property in Cape Town, South Africa designed by studio Nico Van Der Meulen Architects. The scope of the project was to remodel a 1950s residence, breathing new life back into the home and giving it more of an urban feel. Here is a brief description of the project from the architects, “Alterations and additions were made to the original building to allow for four bedrooms and large entertaining areas. The single-storey building allows for large double volume spaces and flat roofs have been used in the alteration to keep vertical expansion in mind for the client’s future. In keeping with the owner’s brief to have a home with an urban and open feel, the interior and exterior entertaining areas have been blurred by sliding stacking doors that open up the whole facade. By using a neutral palette, the company was able to create a warm environment by bringing in touches of color through rich and bold accessories and furnishings.” What do you think of this fabulous South African home?
This stunning two-storey contemporary home in Johannesburg, South Africa has been designed by Nico Van Der Meulen Architects, entitled “House Serengeti.” The home’s visual success is due to its mix of earthy textures against high-gloss finishes and raw material against refined elements. According to the architects, the design brief asked for, “a stylish family home with ecologically sound design that maximized indoor-outdoor living to take full advantage of Johannesburg’s legendary eight-month summer. It’s a double-storey home with an open-plan living area downstairs, an upstairs pyjama lounge, a study, and four bedrooms, all of them en-suite.
The three family bedrooms are upstairs, and we positioned the guest room downstairs, separating it from the family’s sleeping area to maximize privacy. The home combines the use of rock, steel, wood and glass, classic modernist design elements re-mixed for new applications. The front of the home features a rusted-steel-clad wall, cleverly mounted on tracks so that it slides back to reveal the garage. Visual continuity is provided through the use of rusted-steel finishing on the entrance and upper-level window frames.
Visual lift is also provided through the use of sculptures by van der Meulen’s brother, Regardt, and artist Ronel Jordaan’s world-famous Merino-wool felt pebbles. Its little visual treats such as these that inform the home’s many X-factors, lifting it above the mundane. Every turn of a corner provides the eye with a discreet visual delight that’s almost Japanese in its subtlety, from the use of raked plaster in a wall application and the hidden-access pantry in the kitchen to the fireplace surround clad in granite panels and the pyjama lounge’s floating ceilings. The home’s lower level interacts with the back garden’s pool and dining terrace through the use of floor-to-ceiling slide-back glass walls that create a seamless interactive space.” Via
Visit the website of Nico Van Der Meulen Architects here.
This incredible home we bring you today is by Nico Van Der Meulen Architects in Johannesburg, South Africa. The expansive residence is situated on a 4,000 square meters plot of land in the town of Bryanston. The interior architecture of the 15,069 square foot (1,400 square meters) contemporary home is by M Square Lifestyle Design, the furniture, interior decoration and special effects lighting was by M Square Lifestyle Necessities. Due to the slope of the site, a basement was incorporated into the plan and creates a step effect on the backside facade of the home. The basement consists of a gym with spa and dressing room, home theater with a wet bar, wine cellar/tasting room with separate areas for white and red wines, music room and a dance studio/ discotheque.
Upon entering through the gatehouse, several large cantilevers protrude from the building, some in rust, other areas clad with unfilled travertine, and an atrium behind a mentis grating screen. Next to the front door a large reflective koi pond flows over a retaining wall next to the drive way, with an illuminated glass staircase behind a two- storey curtain wall in the background. The front door is a large piece of pivoted frameless glass, leading into a double volume entrance hall and formal lounge with a view across the lounge and pool into the garden beyond. A bridge suspended by steel cables spans across this space. Due to its north orientation, sun control features and cross ventilation, the house can be used almost year round without artificial heating or cooling. Via
Visit the website of Nico Van Der Meulen Architects here.
This stunning home in Pretoria, South Africa has been designed by architect Nico van der Meulen. When the owners of this home approached Nico van der Meulen Architects, their brief was simple: “to design a stunning, cutting-edge, contemporary home”. The only absolute requirement was that it had to be visually extraordinary with an indoor swimming pool. The relaxed attitude of the client and the large site (10,000 square meters) provided the architects with a golden opportunity to explore the home three-dimensionally with advanced 3D computer software, and fuse the programmatic requirements into the 3D model. The outcome was a design where form meets function. Enhancing the structure are the incorporation of sun-orientation, circulation, open-plan living areas, view orientation and privacy.
Rudolph van der Meulen, from Nico van der Meulen Architects, explains: “The result is a design where the three dimensionality of the building is celebrated with intersecting planes of steel and glass ‘hovering’ above the solid elements of concrete and plastered brick. Aluminum louvers are used for sun control and privacy, while creating depth and layering. The ground floor was purposely lifted above the landscape to improve the views of the garden, and to create level differences in the ground floor plane. The main bedroom cantilevers over angled concrete columns and reinforces the ‘hovering’ idea.”
The layout centers around the double volume living and dining area. The dining area is placed on a platform to enhance the views towards the garden. The kitchen is more private while at the same time not entirely enclosed (it is open-plan, leading to the indoor pool area). The indoor pool and living area is enclosed with stacking frameless glass doors which gives the inhabitants the opportunity to completely open up the space. Drinks can be conveniently served directly to the pool via an in-water pool bar. The first floor is split with the children’s bedrooms on the one side, and the main bedroom on the other. The main bedroom has a small private lounge area and is open plan to the bathroom. Exterior louvers give privacy for the floor-to-ceiling glass showers. With the exception of the home theater and the second guest room, which was added later, all rooms are north facing. Even the kitchen that is located behind the indoor pool receives direct north sunlight from the high windows set in the angled roof during winter.
The interior design team from M Square Lifestyle Design ensured that finishes and fittings accentuated the architecture of the home. All fittings were specifically designed and made to suit the architecture of the house. “The interior reflects the exterior with intersecting planes creating points of interest. The exposed steel roof trusses, steel I-beams, and the bent steel staircase tie the interior with the exterior and refer to the quasi industrial aesthetic of the home,” explains Phia van Der Meulen of M Square Lifestyle Design. Via
The landscaping was designed to incorporate a large wetlands feature to contain the water seeping out from the rock underlay and supply an ample source for irrigation of the extensive property. Plants used were all indigenous and adapted to the area, while large sculptures by Anton Smit create visual interest in the landscape.
“The color palette was purposefully monochromatic with accents of red. This is drawn from the external finish specification set out by the architect. The idea was to create a holistic edifice, where the boundaries from inside to out are diffused”, adds Phia. Steel sculptures by Regardt van Der Meulen were used to blend with the steel structure.
Some of the materials used included polyurethane flooring over concrete floors, mild steel both raw and powder-coated, natural ash timber veneers and a sandstone gabion wall which adds texture as counterpoint to the black polished steel wall in the lounge. The look was completed with contemporary furniture supplied by M Square Lifestyle Necessities. The home fuses aesthetics and functionality and meets the owners’ requirements for cutting-edge design, while fulfilling the lifestyle requirements of a modern South African family.
Photos: David Ross
The Joc house has been designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects and is situated in Johannesburg, South Africa. Boasting opulent hotel-like interiors, the house impresses the imagination with its luxurious contemporary style. The home resembles that of a world class luxury hotel with all of the amenities. The spacious interiors feature an open plan concept with large living spaces and an enormous indoor swimming pool. The interior is an extension of the exterior with large windows that open to the exterior. Materials include travertine flooring throughout the main living areas and wood flooring on the second level of the private spaces. The outdoors features an infinity edge swimming pool and outdoor living and dining area that is covered by a roof that is incorporated with skylights and sliding glass panels that makes the interior blend seamlessly with the exterior.
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.