House de Villiers
South Africa
Drawings, plans, elevations
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The clients’ need was for a retirement dwelling which was to be built on their son’s property in Brooklyn. The property is a narrow but deep site. The existing house, an original structure from the old Brooks farm, is situated north against the street boundary. This freed up most of the site to locate the new dwelling. A splendid Victorian building neighbours the site to the west and was not be obscured. The new house was placed as far south as possible. Using a courtyard design for the new 2 bedroom house further enhanced privacy and allowed open but secure use of all the amenities. With their grandchildren living on the same site, placing the pool in the courtyard restricts its use to supervised play while also keeping out their pets. A secluded area behind the house is used for a food garden. When the owners are away, the façade close to a secure, locked off unit. The courtyard, built around an existing lemon tree, group and connect all surrounding spaces and provide ample light to the interior. The simple geometry and building materials give clarity to the layout and tie it to the pre-industrial heritage of the farm buildings. The interior flows naturally from the shared living space to a more private study and finally to private bedroom spaces. A huge Beefwood tree was felled during construction and its timber used for some of the floorings. Rainwater is captured and recycled for gardening and washing. The pool is solar heated and a heat pump supplies the hot water. An echo friendly biofuel fireplace heats the interior.
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