location: Bedfordview, JHB | architects: Nico van der Meulen Architects: www.nicovdmeulen.com | interior design: M Square Lifestyle Design | photography: Barend Roberts and David Ross

An existing structure, its contextual setting and the client brief were key factors in an extensive alteration and additions to what was a modest hillside house.

Bordering a serene nature reserve, the house is perched on the steep face of a precipitous rocky hillside. This ‘at one with nature’ location informed the architectural concept and guiding principles behind the making of space and conception of the architecture.

A rock face extension was necessary because the architects wanted the structure to work as an extension to the hillside, so that the users seemingly inhabit a mountain face. The insertion / extension achieves this through being firmly rooted to the slope via some impressive engineering, while also protruding out of the hillside as if it were shaped and morphed over time into its current condition.

The translation of this concept becomes evident upon approach to the house and on subsequent entry. Here, the large 4.8m high and 3.6m wide, 4-ton cast-in-situ garage doors are a result of the client’s brief; the molded and chamfered shapes of the extruded edges resemble the stones and rock on the hillside.

For the full article see Habitat #255 September / October 2016