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SUBURBAN HOLIDAY

A suburban holiday house for the James Bond family man.

Our client harboured fantasies of a sophisticated bachelor lifestyle on his 500m2 plot in one of Johannesburg’s suburbs, yet by the time he got around to hiring an architect he had a wife, two kids and a dog.

In order to afford him the best of both worlds and to make the most of the relatively small site the house is split into two: a concrete-and-brick ground floor for family living, cooking and kids, and a timber-and-steel holiday-hide-a-way-cabin-in-the-sky for the parents. The house is carefully inserted between existing houses, its ground floor forming a courtyard, while the first floor is orientated to look between and past its neighbours without blocking their views. The elevated box stands on two slender steel columns and a large masonry column containing the first-floor bathroom. On the ground floor the large column contains an oversized hearth on the used for cooking and heating the open patio on winter evenings. The small site is almost entirely taken up by the house, so instead of a regular garden there is a roof garden on top of the lower box and a covered patio under the elevated box. The city skyline is visible from the roof garden, as are the Magaliesberg Hills, on a clear day.

Project team: Thorsten Deckler, Anne Graupner, Sue Groenewald, Bobo Motha

Winner of a South African Institute for Architecture Project Award 2007
Featured in Architecture South Africa November/ December 2007
Featured in Daimler Chrysler publication and traveling exhibition 2007