A mod­ern trans­for­ma­tion

Business Day - Home Front - - FRONT PAGE -

SIT­U­ATED close to Africa’s fi­nan­cial pow­er­house, the Sand­ton CBD, along both sides of Rivo­nia Road, the up­mar­ket sub­urb of Morn­ing­side is lo­cated in the heart of the north­ern stretches of Jo­han­nes­burg. Nonethe­less it has man­aged to re­tain its tran­quil res­i­den­tial charm.

A cos­mopoli­tan mix of ar­chi­tec­ture char­ac­terises this sub­urb, from se­cure town­house com­plexes to large homes.

Data sourced from Light­stone re­veals that only 23,47% of prop­er­ties sit­u­ated in the sub­urb of Morn­ing­side are free­hold. These sta­tis­tics also in­di­cate that buy­ers in Morn­ing­side are young, with 37,68% of re­cent buy­ers aged be­tween 18 and 35 years, and 35,22% of re­cent buy­ers aged be­tween 36 and 49 years.

It is in this vi­brant yet peace­ful area that our fea­ture home, which was trans­formed from a 1970s home into one ideal for 21st cen­tury liv­ing by Nico van der Meulen Ar­chi­tects, is sit­u­ated.

The home, on a 2 000m² stand, can be de­scribed as bold, ul­tra-mod­ern and fit for a con­tem­po­rary South African life­style — a home which no one would ever guess was built in the 1970s. Van der Meulen ex­plains the rea­sons for tak­ing on the ren­o­va­tion. “The house is sit­u­ated in a very good area, but was very dated, thus an ideal can­di­date for a makeover. One of the main ob­jec­tives was to build a home that ac­com­mo­dates the typ­i­cal South African in­door and out­door life­style.”

This was achieved through the cre­ation of an atrium and a moat around the hall and din­ing room, with a cur­tain of wa­ter. The end re­sult is a beau­ti­ful break­fast gar­den to the east of the kitchen, over­look­ing the moat and wa­ter fea­ture. The wa­ter fea­ture adds an in­ter­est­ing vis­ual el­e­ment and is vis­i­ble from al­most ev­ery­where in the liv­ing and kitchen ar­eas, with the kitchen tak­ing cen­tre stage as the hub of the house.

The fam­ily and din­ing room opens onto a spacious ve­randa through frame­less fold­ing doors which dou­bles the space avail­able for en­ter­tain­ing dur­ing the long sum­mers. The in­te­rior walls were re­moved to cre­ate a dou­ble-vol­ume liv­ing area and form a more seam­less floor plan. This was also the key el­e­ment in trans­form­ing the home. “This also helped to get rid of the chaotic floor plan with small boxes, all on dif­fer­ent lev­els,” says Van der Meulen.

“The out­come is a con­tem­po­rary home that is open-plan with north-fac­ing lay­out ideal for fam­ily liv­ing and en­ter­tain­ing,” he says.

M Square Life­style Ne­ces­si­ties cre­ated in­te­ri­ors re­flect­ing op­u­lence and the lat­est in in­te­rior dé­cor trends. These can be found in as­pects such as the spher­i­cal cop­per lamp shades de­signed by one of the world’s lead­ing de­sign­ers, Tom Dixon. The as­tute place­ment of fur­ni­ture di­vides spaces into pock­ets of ac­tiv­ity which pro­motes an in­ter­ac­tive fam­ily life. A lux­u­ri­ous colour pal­ette was ap­plied through­out to com­ple­ment the mod­ern theme of the in­te­ri­ors, in­clud­ing rich rust and cop­per hues. The end re­sult is a look that is open, warm, mod­ern and in­fin­itely invit­ing.

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the ex­te­rior and in­te­ri­ors is seen in bed­rooms and bath­rooms that open onto bal­conies and atri­ums, and in the case of the guest bed­room, di­rectly onto the gar­den.

Phia van der Meulen of M Square Life­style Ne­ces­si­ties ex­plains some of the other fin­ishes used to en­hance the ar­chi­tec­ture: “Usu­ally ar­eas un­der­neath stairs are re­dun­dant; how­ever we cre­ated a func­tional, pop­u­lar spot by plac­ing a bar in the cav­ity.” The fire­place serves as a cen­tre­piece and an­other fo­cal point. It also acts as a bar­rier that sub­tly di­vides dis­tinct ar­eas.

The end re­sult is a con­tem­po­rary home that is more than ideal for fam­ily liv­ing and en­ter­tain­ing. The in­ge­nu­ity of the ar­chi­tec­ture lies in its nat­u­ral flow­ing ef­fect but with­out mak­ing the house too over­pow­er­ing and too big for easy main­te­nance.

Talk­ing about the prop­erty mar­ket in the area, Yvette Joubert of Se­eff Prop­er­ties, who is mar­ket­ing this home, notes that re­cently buyer ac­tiv­ity across the board seems to be on the in­crease. “If homes are cor­rectly priced and mar­keted, they may sell at 10% be­low ask­ing price. There is great de­mand for the more en­try-level, affordable homes, which are in short sup­ply in Morn­ing­side due to lo­cal­ity of the area in re­la­tion to the Sand­ton CBD. Ob­vi­ously the more ex­pen­sive the prop­erty the less the de­mand, as fewer buy­ers are able to af­ford the higher end homes. Over­all, de­mand for homes be­tween R8m and R12m are on the in­crease,” she says.

Joubert also notes that the older prop­er­ties in Morn­ing­side, usu­ally on an acre or more, are be­ing sub­di­vided as there is more value in the land with rights than the seller would achieve if they of­fered the home as ren­o­va­tion po­ten­tial to the mar­ket. “Smaller stands of 2 000m² with older houses are ei­ther be­ing ren­o­vated by the seller or are of­fered with ren­o­va­tion po­ten­tial to the mar­ket,” she says. Price: R13m ne­go­tiable Con­tact: Se­eff Prop­er­ties Yvette Joubert 082 687 6711

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