A modern transformation
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