Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Serengeti House in Johannesburg, South Africa by Nico van der Meulen Architects
November 29th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Nico van der Meulen Architects
This is a Johannesburg home, located on a suburban golf estate, in Africa. The home’s visual success is due to its perfectly balanced application of earthy textures against high-gloss finishes, and raw material against refined elements.
“The brief”, says Rudolph van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects, “was to create a stylish family home with ecologically sound design that maximized indoor-outdoor living to take full advantage of Johannesburg’s legendary eight-month summer”.
The double-storey home has an open-plan living area downstairs, an upstairs pyjama lounge, a study, and four bedrooms, all of them en-suite. The three family bedrooms are upstairs, and the guest room is situated downstairs, separating it from the family’s sleeping area to maximize privacy.
The home combines the use of rock, steel, wood and glass – classic modernist design elements re-mixed for new applications. The front of the home features a rusted-steel-clad wall, cleverly mounted on tracks so that it slides back to reveal the garage. Visual continuity is provided through the use of rusted-steel finishing on the entrance and upper-level window frames. Wood is used on the home’s walkway and its bathroom flooring.
There is a Balau wooden walkway from the street to the front door, which passes over a Koi pond that fronts the house. The master bathroom also has Balau wooden-floor decking so when the glass doors are slid back onto the terrace, it visually creates one unified space. It’s also very easy to keep clean. Tiles have been avoided in the bathrooms; back-sprayed glass was used instead. In the kids’ room lime green accents have been used to add some visual punch.
Regardt van der Meulen’s sculptural art and Ronel Jordaan’s world famous Merino-wool felt pebbles provide interest and visual lift in the house.
The home’s lower level interacts with the back garden’s pool and dining terrace through the use of floor-to-ceiling slide-back glass walls that create a seamless interactive space.
A kitchen window-hatch opens onto the barbeque area, providing an almost modern twist on the old-school roadhouse.
The home is also ecologically smart with a two-foot-thick, stone-clad western wall serving as a heat absorber while providing visual kick. Likewise, the home’s windows are recessed, with overhangs that are strategically cantilevered to catch the sun during the winter months, while blocking it in the summer. Similarly, the home has sun-control fins to cut out the summer sun. The roof is made of Chromadek and timber, which also provide insulation.
When viewed from the street, the home’s central core is transparent, book-ended by imposing solid shapes on either side; you can look right through it onto the wetland and the golf course beyond its back garden.
The home provides a subtle sense of understated glamour through its visual accents, successfully combining with the hassle-free maintenance of its durable building materials and maximized indoor-outdoor living application – a winning trilogy that’s perfect for modern living.
Every design and aesthetic aspect of this spectacular house was catered for by Nico van der Meulen Architects, M Square Lifestyle Design and M Square Lifestyle Necessities.
Contact Nico van der Meulen Architects