The house is situated on a serene smallholding outside Potchefstroom in North West province. With the urban sprawl closing in around the 2.8 hectares, the site is considered a sanctuary in the suburbs, where black impala still roam and endangered blue cranes and grey crowned cranes can stroll with quiet confidence.
A key factor in the design was the orientation of the house, the rooms had to be designed in such a way that it avoids as far as possible looking into the surrounding properties outside of the estate. These are now very densely populated with little greenery, we wanted the client to feel connected with the “sanctuary” inside the estate at all times.
Tied in with this awareness of the importance of nature and interacting with it sensitively, one of the primary requirements of the clients brief was a ‘green’, energy-saving design. The client wanted the house to function as the solar power hub on the estate. The roof is thus designed to accommodate photovoltaic panels, coupled with a utility room to house a UPS unit, which can be used to store power that can be distributed to the rest of the house and the estate.
The house is positioned on the south-west corner of the estate, which is ideal from an architectural and energy-saving point of view. It provides the rooms with optimal sun during the day, but all the inhabitable rooms also have amazing views overlooking the entire property and its wildlife. Because the house is set in such a vast, open sanctuary-like space, the living rooms on the ground floor also live outwards into the estate. This is achieved with large sliding doors, coupled with large glazed panels to maximize views to the outside.