Johannesburg, South Africa

Khaya Emuthini

This 'pin-wheel' plan residence, whose Zulu name translates as 'house in the trees', is a substantial alteration to a single-story 1960’s bungalow in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Commissioned by a leading television producer and scriptwriter couple, the project included two key components: the addition of a new floor and a ten-person cinema; and, more interesting to us, resolving the issue of how to relocate the front door. The latter is not an uncommon problem, especially in the twenty-first century where visitors no longer park on the street and amble towards a front door through an arbour of morning glory. For security reasons, most guests these days choose to park their cars within heavily secured yards, which are almost always near garages, which typically adjoin the kitchen. 

As a result, the kitchen has become the de facto entrance to the home, if not the garage itself. Taking into account these considerations, we created a double-volume kitchen as the entrance foyer; it leads off a welcoming courtyard. 

This secure space addresses the problem of orientation, with the associated problems of a lack of solar penetration in winter. The kitchen now has its own courtyard bathed in sunlight, which also flows deeply into the dining room by virtue of high-level glazing.

The double-volume kitchen fronts a welcoming entrance court to the home.

Continous steel balustrades warp into a giant pergola structure, evoking a precise, episodic sense of exposure.

The vertical expression of the balustrades and pergola is echoed internally in timber panelling and mosaic detailing.

To the north a dining terrace is defined by a large overarching metal pergola which was designed for creeping grape vine to take over and provide welcome shade during the highveld summer.

Architects - soundspacedesign

Interior Architects - soundspacedesign

Contract Administration - Plan Ahead Concepts

Photography - David Southwood

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 ABN 23627800926  ARBNSW 10266 Nominee Architect Gerald Don Albert 

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