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
Clifton View 7 is a spectacular contemporary property designed by Antoni Associates in Cape Town, South Africa. The scope of the project was to do a gut renovation to the two-story apartment and re-configure the interior layout to further accommodate more spaces in the program, including four bedrooms, en-suite, gym, entertainment cocktail bar, cinema room and wine cellar. The site is perched over dramatic boulders and the Atlantic Ocean and experiences sweeping views of the Clifton beaches as well as the Twelve Apostles mountain range.
Here is a description of the project from the architects, “Access is gained to the apartment on the upper level. The dining room, living room and kitchen are open plan and have direct access to the extensive terrace. The open plan dining area acts as a pivotal focal point between the spiral staircase and the main entertainment space. The success of the space is a culmination of bespoke detailing, unexpected stylistic juxtapositions and dramatic artworks.”
The pool bar leads onto the swimming pool and spa terrace with uninterrupted views of the seascape. The infinity pool allows the eye to flow from the pool to the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
Moving through the apartment is a journey of styles and ideas that all fuse together to make the apartment a tailored and personally nuanced space. This tailored look was achieved by avoiding over use of recognizable brand names; the clients instead were keen to create one off signature pieces through the OKHA Design Studio.
A feature spiral stair was introduced to link the two levels of the apartment. Feature timber screens extend from the upper level through the upper volume to contain this circulation space.
Lighting design is an important feature in any project. Bold and discreet lighting was specified in conjunction to create a powerful ‘wow’ factor and layering of lighting was used to set various moods throughout.
Photos: Adam Letch
The Aupiais House was designed by Cape Town-based studio Greg Wright Architects, situated in Camps Bay, South Africa. Site Interior Design was approached by a couple to skin the shell of their newly purchased, though technically incomplete, Camps Bay home. The house was a contemporary shell but needed a “layer” to make it a home. From the outset, the clients were open-minded and came with an exciting frame of reference and good aesthetic sensibilities. Contrary to the default bleached ‘Beach House’ aesthetic so prevalent in the area, a rich palette was realized with natural materials bringing warmth and highlights to the often dramatic rooms that resulted. Via
Furnishing the spaces was done with a balanced combination of well-known local and international furnishing brands in combination with a substantial number of custom-designed and manufactured feature pieces. The intention is a diverse series of striking environs, each unique but having a recognizable design DNA connecting them as a family of patently related spaces.
The strong joinery concept that defines the main living areas and study are evidence of the continuity of materials throughout the house. They set the base palette but are designed to be interactive and intended to be “curated” by the owners, encouraging them to accumulate art pieces and exhibit them in various often-changing configurations. The incorporation of sustainably sourced timber, paired with luxurious linens and worn leather upholstery, tempers the otherwise warm, dark interiors.
The cavernous basement space is transformed into the ideal entertainer’s retreat affectionately termed the ‘Legend Room’ by the owners. Reflective surfaces contrast against matte walls and the unusual ‘wetsuit’ fabric of the custom-designed sofa especially shaped to fit the unusual wall configuration of the existing structure.
Bedrooms have been finished in varying neutral tones, always having natural timber as a consistent accent. Furniture was selected or designed specially to live alongside bespoke headboards and bed bases and natural, woven designer rugs and throws, quirky object and iconic lamps come together to add a sense of individuality to each of the rooms.
Each element of the house is viewed as an opportunity to build upon the theme of neutrals and naturals set off against contrasting materials and colours. All work together to create a striking visual impact; the final result is a bold, livable interior with clear identity.
Photos: Del Fante Photography
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
Plett 6541+2 House was designed as a family home by SAOTA Architects in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. The clients required the residence to be designed with an understated elegance and quite grandeur, with six bedrooms and indoor/outdoor living spaces with uninterrupted views, with a ”lived-in beach-house” feel. The interiors of this fabulous home were carried out by Daniela Priebatsch and Emi Cavalieri.
Here is a description from the architects, “The beach-front site falls within a pristine and unique environment, nestled at the foot of the Robberg. With direct access to a strip of idyllic beach, it is characterized by its rolling dunes and the dense indigenous vegetation of extraordinary variety, including a well establish Milkwood thicket. The site is subject to hot summers and moderate winters, with a cooling on-shore breeze, from the North East. Taking advantage of the large dune across the majority of the site, the views were maximized by elevating the living levels to above natural ground level, terracing built forms down the dune.”
“The design incorporates large glazed areas and extensive use of outdoor spaces, with each aspect of the house having a terrace or deck. The linear open plan composition of the interior spaces allows views from every room. To take advantage of the sea and distant mountain views, while providing protection from the extremes of climate, the living spaces were designed with South West/North East orientations. Sculptured rectangular forms, linear elements, large areas of horizontal glazing, timber cladding and expansive external terraces are the principal elements of the design. Externally the natural fynbos was brought up to the house achieving a feeling that the house is set in nature and does not disturb the natural beauty.”
“The simple choice of materials complements the sculptural form of the house. The flooring is of large format leather finish Neo Sardo Granite throughout the house, alongside painted walls and ceilings. The principal neutral elements are complemented by the natural timber shutters, screens and pergola. These will mature in time to a silver-grey colour. Each bathroom is characterized by walls clad in granite to match the floors, frameless glass shower enclosures and white Corian vanities. The master bedroom is finished with white oiled Oak flooring with feature granite, tying it back to the rest of the house.”
This incredible home was designed for an extended family in Johannesburg, South Africa by Saota Architects. Situated in Houghton on a gentle slope, the site is surrounded by trees and has views from the upper levels. The site was split into two separate sites organized around a common entrance and driveway providing access to both houses. The houses have a U-shaped configuration organized around an internal courtyard and allow access to all of the living spaces and the swimming pool. A perforated wall separates the public forecourt from the private spaces.
Internally the spaces pivot around a central volume with a ribbon like spiral stair. The living spaces, kitchen and private garden are to the north, while the games room, pool and gym are to the west. All of these spaces connect to the courtyard which in turn connects back to the main house and its living spaces.
Because of the west facing facade, a set of large shutters, which drop below the level of the first floor slab, provide shade and protection from the setting sun. Care was also taken in selecting performance-glass that would minimize the impact of direct sun. The bedrooms and study are on the upper level. The passage to the children’s bedroom runs along the perforated wall that separates the building from the driveway.
ANTONI Associates were appointed to create a contemporary interior which needed to reflect their family lifestyle. The decor and furniture selected are modern and have strong lines to complement the linear architecture. A number of bespoke furniture pieces were designed by OKHA Interiors.
Neutral palettes with accent colors have been used throughout. Strong graphic rugs add drama and texture to the rooms which offset against the solid architectural surfaces. Curated art by South African artists amongst others Lyndi Sales and Philip Barlow have been placed throughout the house.
Photos: Adam Letch, Elsa Young
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
This recently designed private family home is situated on a prime site in Higgovale, Cape Town, South Africa. The client was referred to Three14 Architects by SAOTA, who were initially approached for the conceptual design. Upon completion of the sketch design, Three14 Architects took over, translating and expanding on the original ideas and creating a tailor-made, contemporary-chic, courtyard home with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The house takes an honest approach to aesthetics with an expression of tactile materials – bagged brickwork, rough stone, exposed concrete, warm timbers and polished concrete floors – whilst remaining cutting edge with clean lines and details.
This steel-framed pavilion has been designed by GASS Architects, situated on the Westcliff Ridge within a wooded estate with stunning views of the Johannesburg, South Africa skyline. Westcliff Pavilion was constructed with a steel frame to take in the magnificent views from the cottage. It also created a minimal impact on the site, allowing the building to float above the ground plane, leaving most of the ridge intact. The steel frame also created an elegant, timeless aesthetic and allowed for the incorporation of sprung solid timber floors which blended seamlessly with the exterior solid decking.
The architect also wished to integrate a floating stone into the overall design of the residence. “Many of the houses on the Westcliff Ridge and surrounds are famous for their use of native stonework in their detailing, including works by architectural greats like Sir Herbert Baker. Georg was keen to continue in this tradition of using indigenous stone in the design, and so the as such, wanted to include a wall made from stone harvested on the site itself. However, he wanted to give this wall a twist, something that would differentiate it from all other walls in Westcliff,” state the architects. This stunning open plan living with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and floor to ceiling glass windows embraces the natural landscape and creates an amazing place to call home, what do you think?
Photos: Bernard Viljoen
Victoria 73 House was designed by SAOTA Architects in conjunction with Antoni Associates for a family in Cape Town, South Africa. The property originally had a house that under-utilized the site’s fantastic characteristics. The project brief was aimed at capitalizing on the site to create an environment where a young family could enjoy an outdoor lifestyle offered by the site. This outdoor area is protected from the prevailing winds, enjoying sea views, and more immediate views of large boulders to the South. The clients were eager to utilize every possible area of the site, yet ensure that they maintained privacy in this dense part of Bantry Bay, where sites are fairly small and owners typically maximize their allowable building envelopes.
The design was driven by creating a family home that could accommodate a kitchen, living room and dining room in one single space. These areas enjoyed all day sunlight with simultaneously framed views of the sea. The secondary living area was to be a dramatic entertainment space, located on the level immediately below the family level, where the clients could entertain large groups of friends. The pool terrace allows for covered and uncovered areas to relax around the pool. The entertainment lounge accommodates a generous bar, and is close to the outdoor braai area. A dramatic gazebo structure is perched at the Western edge of the pool deck, which allows the owners to enjoy the last hours of the setting sun.
The Sixth floor above accommodates the main bedroom with two children’s en-suite bedrooms and a small children’s lounge. The guest room, a staff area and a private library are located on the second and third story below the entertainment level. The ground floor accommodates the entrance hall and a five car garage. A glass lift connects the building vertically, and an external service stair connects the levels externally.