stone house

Pretoria / South Africa / 2007

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We were commissioned to design a home for a young family with two adventurous boys. The clients bought a hectare stand in a rural estate with a ‘koppie’ (a small hill rising up from the African veld) and a magnificent view over the landscape to the east of Pretoria. They wanted a home where all of this could become part of their lives. The design consists of a series of over scaled, red, "ysterklip" walls reminiscent of the dry-packed kraal walls in and around Pretoria. These stone walls, housing all the services, were staggered and positioned in such a way to create sheltered spaces between them; privacy from the neighbors on the sides and their main function to concentrate and frame the important east and the west views. All the stone were collected from the site. Carefully placed roof lights allows north light to wash into the house against the stonewalls, compensating for the east/west orientation of the site. To the west the home opens up to the koppie where the kids have their tree house and secret forest hides. To the east the house concentrates on the magnificent views down the axis of the red stonewalls. The veldt was re-established and allowed to grow back, the kitchen garden and children play lawn to the back of the home and the private court gardens at the bathrooms are the only areas cultivated. The stone wall at the entrance leads you in from the south with an entrance gallery intersecting all the stone walls and spaces beyond, drama is added with light streaming in from the top and views confronting you to the right and left upon entering their spaces. The first space you intersect is the main living space, the dining room facing the koppie on the west and open plan kitchen hidden in the stonewall. To the east the living room extends out onto a covered terrace and open fire ring terrace with the view as its focus. The second space belongs to the kids with their bedrooms leading off their koppie. The rumpus room opens up onto the exercise lap pool framed by the stonewalls growing out of the water. The third, and more private, space belongs to the main bedroom suite, gym and guestroom/studio all with their private court gardens and bathrooms. Relaxed-muted, low maintenance finishes are used throughout with the red stone complimenting the client’s love for colour and texture. Sandstone planks are used in the bathrooms and outside areas where a non-slip surface is required. Granolithic floors make up the rest of the floor areas.
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    We were commissioned to design a home for a young family with two adventurous boys. The clients bought a hectare stand in a rural estate with a ‘koppie’ (a small hill rising up from the African veld) and a magnificent view over the landscape to the east of Pretoria. They wanted a home where all of this could become part of their lives. The design consists of a series of over scaled, red, "ysterklip" walls reminiscent of the dry-packed kraal walls in and around Pretoria. These stone walls,...

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