Visi

WHERE THE HEART

THIS HOUT BAY HOME MERGES SEAMLESSLY WITH ITS SURROUNDIN­GS, WHILE BOTH PAYING HOMAGE TO THE PAST AND PAVING THE WAY FORWARD FOR A CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY.

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the driveway towards the house, two things are immediatel­y evident: the striking design – a large, dark-wooded, cabinlike box floating above the green lawn – and the considered attention to detail. Built on the same property as the owners’ childhood home, one of those details was deciding where to place the new constructi­on relative to the existing structure.

And Jan-Dirk van der Walt of SALT Architects got it just right, with window placements that frame both childhood memories and spectacula­r views of the mountains. The resulting light that floods the home was carefully considered too, with the architects conducting light studies as an integral part of the design process: despite being naturally well-lit, it avoids being overly harsh or hot. The bedrooms and living areas are, for example, north-facing, while overhangs above windows allow in just the right amount of direct sunlight.

The other trump card SALT played is the timber that clads the upper storey.Not only does it trick the eye into suspending the building above the earth, but it also softens the design’s modern linearity. “We first explored charring it using shou sugi ban,” says Jan-Dirk, explaining its dark colouring. “But this traditiona­l Japanese curing method is quite expensive. The wood was eventually treated in a similar way through a thermal process, and sealed with Rubio Monocoat.”

Up close, the contrast between the white and black exterior is striking – but if you take a step or two back to observe the house in the context of its surroundin­gs, the colour scheme seems to merge with the mountains.

There was plenty of input from owners Sharyn and Sean in the design process too, and in a truly collaborat­ive sense, the home was built one WhatsApp at a time. In the months leading up to its completion, the couple and Jan-Dirk played a tournament of text tennis, sharing ideas to turn collective thoughts into their reality.

Sharyn – an interior designer with her own business, Conscious Spaces – expertly threaded her personal style into the home. You can see her love for the colour green dappled throughout, and combining with finishes that are a tactile treat. It’s almost impossible not to run your hands over cool granite kitchen counters, or feel your feet firmly rooted to the ground in the shower. From the concrete floors with speckled terrazzo detail to the vertically stacked stone walls in the bathrooms, the surfaces add a beautiful visual contrast to the plain white walls.

While there’s a strong and welcoming sense of open space inside the home, it’s one of contained vastness: it’s expansive, but without a sense of disconnect. Sharyn and Sean quip that it’s great to be able to hear their kids, even when they’re not in plain sight. There’s a wonderful connection here – and the windows that frame happy memories of a childhood home, and the laughter and play of a new generation that fill the new space, are all gentle reminders that life is handed to us moment by moment. saltarchit­ects.co.za

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 ??  ?? Homeowners Sean and Sharyn describe their house as being both spacious and intimate.
Homeowners Sean and Sharyn describe their house as being both spacious and intimate.
 ??  ?? BELOW Architect Jan-Dirk van der Walt stands in the
doorway, with Sean’s childhood home framed in the background. OPPOSITE Vast yet close-knit spaces leave room for breathing and connection from the moment you enter.
BELOW Architect Jan-Dirk van der Walt stands in the doorway, with Sean’s childhood home framed in the background. OPPOSITE Vast yet close-knit spaces leave room for breathing and connection from the moment you enter.
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 ??  ?? THIS PAGE Birch plywood planks set in a staggered layout with shadowline profiles warm the ceilings of the open-plan living area. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP The floors here are polished concrete with exposed aggregate by Innova Worx, offering the family an easy-care solution; the custom-designed kitchen
combines cabinetry by Joos Joiners with quartzite and marble countertop­s by Artmar.
THIS PAGE Birch plywood planks set in a staggered layout with shadowline profiles warm the ceilings of the open-plan living area. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP The floors here are polished concrete with exposed aggregate by Innova Worx, offering the family an easy-care solution; the custom-designed kitchen combines cabinetry by Joos Joiners with quartzite and marble countertop­s by Artmar.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? THIS IMAGE The owners wanted
their home to make sense in the context of its surroundin­gs, and celebrate nature as much as possible. RIGHT, FROM TOP A balcony protected from the elements offers both visual interest and functional­ity; the overhangs were informed by time studies to make the most of both light and shade; thermally treated and sealed with Rubio Monocoat, the wood cladding pays homage to the
colours of the mountains.
THIS IMAGE The owners wanted their home to make sense in the context of its surroundin­gs, and celebrate nature as much as possible. RIGHT, FROM TOP A balcony protected from the elements offers both visual interest and functional­ity; the overhangs were informed by time studies to make the most of both light and shade; thermally treated and sealed with Rubio Monocoat, the wood cladding pays homage to the colours of the mountains.
 ??  ?? THIS PAGE The play area – the centre of the home – is supported by smart storage solutions that make the most of the space under the staircase. OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Well-lit spaces create a welcoming atmosphere; the steel basin pedestal was designed by Sharyn; in the
family bathroom, granite floors are complement­ed by slate tilework from Mazista Tiles, and offset by Meir taps
and mixers from Flush Bathrooms; clever design allows Sean and Sharyn
to enjoy nature at every turn.
THIS PAGE The play area – the centre of the home – is supported by smart storage solutions that make the most of the space under the staircase. OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Well-lit spaces create a welcoming atmosphere; the steel basin pedestal was designed by Sharyn; in the family bathroom, granite floors are complement­ed by slate tilework from Mazista Tiles, and offset by Meir taps and mixers from Flush Bathrooms; clever design allows Sean and Sharyn to enjoy nature at every turn.
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 ??  ?? THIS PAGE The master bathroom is a celebratio­n of textures – and Sharyn’s love for green accents. OPPOSITE The statement ceilings combine effortless­ly with the clean lines in the en-suite bathroom to
create a tranquil space.
THIS PAGE The master bathroom is a celebratio­n of textures – and Sharyn’s love for green accents. OPPOSITE The statement ceilings combine effortless­ly with the clean lines in the en-suite bathroom to create a tranquil space.

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