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A high density contemporary residential development in Menlo Park, Pretoria.

The brief was to design a combination of 2 bedrooms, 1 bedroom and studio apartments in a contemporary style for young upcoming professionals seeking luxury and secure accommodation in Menlo Park.

The Tshwane Council only recently approved higher density for this area. Within the foreseeable future, the area will be totally transformed with similar developments. The City town planners are already citing this development as a benchmark in terms of design and the way the higher density was successfully executed by retaining the suburban qualities.

The contemporary style is a mix of different textures and the combination of flat concrete roofs and mono-pitched roofs to constantly create interest on the facades as one passes the development from the street view. The main challenge was to create the illusion of three two-storey buildings presenting itself on a residential scale within its context of single dwelling houses. This was achieved by staggering the street elevations in depth by means of the combination of flat concrete roofs on the foreground and pushing back the main mono-pitch roof of the double-storey.

Conventional energy-efficient design principles were used such as large overhangs on the north, small windows on the west (if any), natural cross ventilation of each apartment and proper roof insulation for the first-floor apartments.

The challenge was fitting 20 apartments sensibly on a relatively small stand and creating landscaping space for the apartments rather than overlooking the parking. The parking was then placed on the street boundary.

The project turned out to be a huge success with all apartments being sold out from plans. The combinations of colours and textures with the contemporary design style proofed to be popular in the area. The fact that the rentals being achieved for the development are of the highest in the area, is proof that good design is a good investment.