In a good light
The biggest change the couple made was adding a spacious 68m² veranda. “As a nature-conscious designer, I was worried it would reduce the superb northern light, which is critical to any good space, but all it did was soften it,” says Michel. “The small clerestory windows introduce plenty of light, but the real change was in softening the light entering through the extra-wide French doors. It’s an artist’s light.”
The Aesthetics Advisory Committee had their work cut out for them in rectifying the building deviations: at one point the developer actually removed the newly-completed roof and knocked four brick courses off to comply with Greyton’s heritage vernacular.
“Now our home is a stylish, if somewhat controversial, addition to this quaint village’s rich heritage. Some people say the house has a ‘Provençal’ feel to it, but I disagree!” says Michel, who is working on his master’s degree in the Conservation of the Built Environment (CBE), a qualification required of all professionals who work on heritage structures. “In Provence, they also have lime-plastered walls and make use of natural stone but our home with its classic shutters looks more like an old farmhouse or barn.
“I love the simplicity, the scale, the proportions and the symmetry. Modern architects have moved away from symmetry on the premise that it’s restrictive and boring, and we are poorer for it. There’s a balance and calm that comes from symmetry. That’s why this house works – it’s very simple and looks as if it’s been here for years. But it’s only two years old!” >>