location: The Ridge Estate – Pretoria East | architecture: Johann Koch – JK Designs | interior design: by client | photography: Lourens Reyneke

This new home on a Pretoria estate could be described as an aesthetically organised assembly of rectangular shells on two levels. But it’s more than that. Built on a vacant piece of land measuring just over 1 200 square metres, the structure spans just under 620 square metres and represents an appealing solution to high echelon family living in 2018.

The brief given by client to the architect was succinct: To design a modern contemporary home that boasts clean lines, open layouts and that would offer abundant natural light to the interior. This through the inclusion of large expanses of glass and strong connections to outdoor areas through incorporating open, always flexible floor space.

Says architect Johann Koch: ‘My clients required entertainment and relaxation areas for big family days, they enjoy entertaining and having lots of space to do it in. So there was a prerequisite that they would be able to facilitate large gatherings that included many family members and numerous guests.

‘So this evolved as a spacious family home with five bedrooms and en suite bathrooms, plus a downstairs study and a three-car garage with adequate storage space.

‘In executing this brief we had to come up with an original design that was both simplified yet eye-catching. From the outset, the overall concept revolved around the family entertainment areas, creating these as the heart of the home. On entrance, this multifaceted area becomes a living machine where all activity can be seen and monitored through the double volume glass entrance and large stacking doors. It really invites the appraiser inside.

‘The open family areas at the central core allow for an interesting balance on the first floor with the children having their own wing. The parents get to walk across their exclusive bridge to access their private wing.’

Did the architects face any specific challenges on this virgin site?

The stand is orientated on the north-south axis and is narrow in its width. The challenge was to create a totally open-plan layout that would facilitate abundant preferred northern light, whilst also allowing for the triple-car garage within the tight confines of the stand. This was solved by creating a very well-lit double volume entrance area with additional high windows that allow natural light to radiate into the open-plan. This presents as a very beneficial and illuminating experience throughout the area. The architect adds: ‘It never feels as if there might be a dark corner.’

For the full article see Habitat #264 March / April 2018

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