AR­CHI­TECT’S PLAN: CLOSE TO NA­TURE

Farm­house meets con­tem­po­rary in this Jo’burg fam­ily home

South African Garden and Home - - Contents - SOURCES Meik Ar­chi­tects meik.co.za MJE Projects mje­pro­jects.co.za

The own­ers de­scribe them­selves as mod­ern tra­di­tion­al­ists,” says ar­chi­tect Na­dine Naidoo of Meik Ar­chi­tects. “Their brief was to de­sign a home with a farm­house style and with the op­tion to ex­tend it in the fu­ture.”

Na­dine, a self-con­fessed per­fec­tion­ist, de­signed the front en­trance of the house to in­clude a low stone wall and a quaint wooden gate, which re­sem­ble a farm wall, lead­ing to a planted court­yard. A large stone planter was built in to sim­u­late the pri­vacy of a bound­ary wall, as the es­tate doesn’t al­low walls or fences. Be­hind that is the pool, which is over­looked by the liv­ing ar­eas and all the bed­rooms.

The house was de­signed in an

L-shape, fac­ing north-east. It sits low on the land­scape and earth berms on the perime­ter pro­vide pri­vacy with­out re­strict­ing the views. The liv­ing room

and kitchen form a large open-plan space, which is con­nected to the ve­randa by glass doors.

Ad­join­ing the kitchen is the TV room, which can be closed off with slid­ing cav­ity doors. This is where the kids can play while the adults en­ter­tain in the open-plan space. A wide pas­sage lead­ing to the bed­rooms has an al­cove big enough for a desk. A large bay win­dow to take in the views was a spe­cial re­quest on the brief.

There are four bed­rooms, in­clud­ing the main bed­room, which has an en suite bath­room/dress­ing room.

“The house was de­signed with growth in mind,” Na­dine ex­plains. “As they’re a young fam­ily, they wanted to be able to add on in the fu­ture.” The house was po­si­tioned on the prop­erty so that there is space for a granny f lat and staff quar­ters. In the TV room, one wall was pur­posely kept free of win­dows to al­low for a study to be built on.

The own­ers are pas­sion­ate about the en­vi­ron­ment so Na­dine in­cluded fea­tures such as rain­wa­ter tanks and a gas-heated geyser. Polystyren­e in­su­la­tion was in­stalled un­der the house to pre­vent heat loss. High-level win­dows en­sure that sun­light streams in even in win­ter and a wood-burn­ing stove heats the whole liv­ing area. In sum­mer, the bed­rooms are kept cool with a per­gola, which shades the win­dows with­out block­ing the light.

The own­ers are de­lighted with the end re­sult. “We wouldn’t want to live any­where else. Thanks to Na­dine and the builders, MJE Projects, we en­joyed the build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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