location: Helderfontein Estate, Fourways, Johannesburg | architecture: Sergio Chinelli Architects | interior design: Sergio Chinelli Architects with Daniella Interiors | photography: Ben Bergh

On a vacant stand of just over 900 square metres, architect Sergio Chinelli crafted this new build double-storey family home of 510 square metres. His brief was to design a contemporary South African home that would relate to its unique environment while reflecting the tastes and personality of
his clients.

Says Sergio Chinelli: ‘The site is located in a tranquil residential estate in the fast-paced and rapidly developing area of Fourways in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. The house faces directly north along its longest side and feints to the north and east to capture the best daylight and surrounding shallow mountain views. Situated on the corner of the residential block, the design provides for openness on its eastern and northern sides, whilst turning its back on its only two neighbours to the south and west. With close direct access to a green belt situated across the road, the house is well positioned to enjoy a tranquil park with several small lakes that filter down to join the Jukskei River.’

The linear form of the house makes the best use of its long northern exposure. This creates a sleek, minimalist aesthetic and an overall lightness, which was achieved through the use of delicate, thin structural concrete and steel elements. The home enjoys generous outdoor covered entertainment areas that frame diagonal views of the green belt and the L-shaped private garden surrounding it.

Interior and exterior spaces merge on opening large multi-track sliding doors that divide the open plan kitchen, dining room and sitting room from the covered terrace. The use of a folded concrete overhang wrapping around the eastern and northern façades creates a strong unifying architectural element that defines the aesthetic of the house and acts as an essential means of controlling the sun.

Architect Chinelli adds: ‘The low-lying proportion of the folded concrete form sets the scale for the rest of the house to follow. The bedrooms float effortlessly above the covered entertainment area allowing the kitchen, dining and lounge – running parallel to the terrace – to enjoy a single-storey, mono pitched roof. Sitting and dining rooms are subtly separated via the use of a double-sided slow combustion fireplace that supplies heat to both sides. A long axial circulation space runs through the length of the building, allowing views right through the house at both ends.

For the full article see Habitat #261 September / October 2017

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