House Bredenkamp, George, Western Cape

On the outskirts of George as you approach the town from Wilderness, you find the Welgelegen Eco Estate.  Our clients where amongst the first people to invest in this estate, and we had the privilege to design their house.  The erf sits on a steep slope, overlooking a green belt with a creek.  It is extremely private and oozes tranquility.  The house is essentially built on 2 levels, with master bedroom, kitchen and living area on top, opening up onto a stoep from where this awesome view can be appreciated.  The lower level also have access from the natural ground level, and accommodates a self catering guest unit for family and guests.

This house was completed in 2015.

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Forest Edge Guesthouse, Clarens, Eastern Free State

Completed in 2010.  An L-shaped steel structure with mono-pitch roofs, houses separate living and bedroom areas.  The pavilion-like construction is intended to fit snugly within the forest surroundings.

I came across this site whilst working on another project in this unique area and fell in love with the surroundings and the intimacy which this site had to offer.  It reminded me of an article I read while still being a student entitled The Forest Edge.  The site had no spectacular view unlike all the other pricy sites did, but it was nestled in a forest of trees and protected from the harsh south western wind.  A house on this site had to provide shelter as well as maximum recognition to the surrounding trees.  The name “Forest Edge” explains the transition from the built environment to the forest of trees it faces.

The plan of the house was inspired by the Herbert Jacobs House of Frank Loyd Wright, 1936, which was an early, but also a fine example of his Usonion Projects.  The house was designed in an L-Shape, with the living- and dining room as well as kitchen accommodated via the one wing and the bedrooms within the scope of the other.  Both wings open up to a communal outside space which was an extension of the house itself.  The services such as geysers of both the upper and lower bathrooms are clad with curved corrugated iron sheets as to symbolize the water reservoirs and dams typically found in the Free State landscape.  These organic shapes are enhanced by the strong light quality which is a characteristic of the classical landscape in which the building is located.  The position of the house on the plot turns its back to the street and really opens up to an ever changing palate of colours from the forest on the North Eastern side.  The orientation provides ample shade during summer and really catches all the rays of sunlight from early morning to sunset during the cold winter months.

This house was never built to impress, but rather to humble, to learn and above all, to keep my dream alive!

Professional Consultants:
Structural Engineer: Eddie Arter, BVI Consulting Engineers.
Contractor: Owner/builder together with a team of local builders

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Bergprag, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate

Bergprag Cluster Housing, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate

This proposed project is one of few cluster home projects in the secure Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate on the outskirts of Bloemfontein. There are 18 different houses, each with a different design, but they all speak the same architectural language, which is different from any other design in this security complex. It has sadly been put on hold by the developer because of budget constraints.

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House De Villiers, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Bloemfontein

This modern 4-bedroom family home was completed in 2013.  House De Villiers boasts its own character while complying with estate architectural guidelines.  It gives recognition to the adjacent koppies by incorporating the landscape into the design.

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Blackheath Townhouse Development, Bloemfontein

Blackheath Townhouse Development, Bloemfontein

This Townhouse development in Rayton, Bloemfontein, consists out of 36 units with 4 different designs. The designs comprise 2 and 3 bedroom units, as well trendy open plan loft apartments. The units are placed closer to the access road, which is a public area, in order to create a bigger private outdoor space at the back of each unit.

These units are currently under construction.

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House Powley, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Bloemfontein

House Powley was designed for a British client on a site in Woodland-Hills overlooking a natural creek.  The design subtly pushes the architectural guidelines of the estate with the introduction of materials such as face brick walls in order to establish a design language that relates to a ‘Free State vernacular’.  The 5-bedroom house with entertainment area opens up onto the Free State veld to the North, allowing for a pleasant view as well as an ideal orientation.

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House Pienaar, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Bloemfontein

House Pienaar, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Bloemfontein

When former Springbok rugby player, Ruan Pienaar and his family decided to move back to South Africa, they bought the biggest and flattest property available in the Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, adjacent to a green belt nogal. They wanted a farm style family home, with lots of emphasis on outdoor living spaces and enough lawn to kick a ball as far as you can. The farm style idea is mainly captured in the living and dining area, where trusses are exposed, and the fireplace is the main focal point as you enter the house. The huge northern glass façade of this room really contributes to the barn feeling, and guarantees to give them lots of joy from the sun during our cold winter months.

Monique introduced the idea of the mud room between the kitchen and garage, something they had in Ireland, and loved. They really keep me on my toes with the latest design trends, and it has been nothing but a really big privilege to create a home for this beautiful humble family of 5, who have their feet flat and solid on the ground.

The site handover took place in February 2020.

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House Marais, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Bloemfontein

House Marais, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Bloemfontein

This proposed new house is to be built on a site with a couple of restrictive conditions, as well as awesome opportunities. Some dilapidated historical wall of the Anglo Boer War runs diagonally through this site. We had to get permission from the South African Heritage Resources Agency in Cape Town to demolish this wall because the house simply could not fit onto the property otherwise. The erf is adjacent to a green belt, which presented the opportunity to arrange this house around a courtyard, facing this green belt. This area is extremely private, and basically just an extension of the property, which makes it magnificent.

All approvals are in place and we are currently out on tender.

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House Jooste, Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate

House Jooste, Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate

If we say we work all over the country, you can take us up seriously. This new home, currently under construction, is designed for a retired professor and true gentleman who is really in love with nature. Despite strict architectural guidelines of the Home Owner’s Association, we had Carte Blanche with the design on this 2 hectare site. The bedrooms are separated by a living area and open plan kitchen, which opens up onto the verandah overlooking the pool. This verandah connects the living area with all the bedrooms externally.

My client Fred and myself set out the plan on site ourselves with care in order to ensure that no trees are removed unnecessarily.

All the sketches, building of the model, detail design and site visits for this project have been an amazing journey and a really big privilege.

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House Smit, Van der Kloof Dam

This area may seem far and isolated from any big city, but if you farm in the vicinity, this is a serious option for a Karoo weekend retreat. Tourism in Van der Kloof is not what it used to be, but there are decent shops, and the views of the dam and surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful.

The house is a basic shoe box design, built on 2 levels, with the inside / outside entertainment area and guest bedroom on ground floor, and 2 more bedrooms with studio space and pyjama lounge on the 1st floor.

This bachelor decided to take on the challenge of owner builder since he has well skilled labourers on the farm. The steel structure will go out on tender. The completion of this project will certainly help him to get rid of his single status.

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