location: Ebotse Golf & Country Estate, Benoni, Gauteng | architecture: Francois Marais Architects | interior design / decoration: Skye Innovations | photography: Karl Rogers

The brief from their client was influenced by a reputation for creating signature designs. Say the architects: ‘We do not replicate a given style on a variety of plans, regardless of the client. We approach each project with a blank canvas in order to create a home that is unique. This particular project is an example of that philosophy and is among our favourites to date.’

A key plus factor was the location of the stand on the dam waterfront, which – say the architects – was the catalyst for using a plethora of glass. ‘The client required a view from every point within the house.’

However, the actual design was influenced by the client’s fascination with gems and their unique facets. Francois Marais expanded this interest to create a totally unique home with generous interior and exterior spaces that are unlike the rectangles on most residential floor plans. He adds: ‘We are familiar with the forms of gemstone materials and applied it to the shape and volume of the structure. The main areas jut out of the building like crystals in a rock formation, creating a unique façade and providing spectacular views from the interior.’

In this case, the design team planned the interior areas prior to Francois Marais hand sketching the design of the exterior. The team then compiled the design info and converted it into digital format, adding a 3D artist impression and construction drawings. Says the architect: ‘It was particularly challenging to achieve the perfect angles and ensure that the expanses of glass extended above and below the slab.’

So the prerequisite from the outset was to incorporate influences from crystals and rock formations; this to break the conventional rectangular spaces both in the plan and volume of the building. Angled glass reflections change and glow through the daylight hours and this structure offered an opportunity to fully exploit these effects.

For the full article see Habitat #265 May / June 2018


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