Gift Acres, Pretoria

This project is located in a luxury residential estate and positioned on a steep western sloping stand. The client’s specific brief from the start was to maximise the views to the north and west, and to have a connection to the nature reserve to the east. During the design phase it was decided to place the open living spaces on the first storey to maximise these panoramic views, and to place the main bedroom suite on the top level to provide an uninterrupted connection with the nature reserve to the east.


The house is subsequently divided into four levels. The lower ground storey contains the garage and entrance into the house; the ground storey contains the bedrooms, bathrooms, study and PJ  Lounge; the first storey contains all the interior open plan living spaces and outdoor living spaces; and the second storey contains the main bedroom suite. Accessing the stand from the west, visitors arrive at street level, and are then guided by a walkway leading towards a natural rock cladded wall from the arrival area up towards the front door.


The warm climate of the region allows the building to have large glass sliding doors that open respectively onto covered patios on the ground storey, and a large covered patio on the first storey, establishing a strong relationship between the interior and exterior spaces. Each north-facing bedroom has large doors opening onto covered patios and the garden with swimming pool. The doors of the north-facing living spaces allow for maximum cross-ventilation, lowering the temperature of the interior space in the summer months. A wood burning combustion fireplace heats the large open space in colder winter months.


Various cool to warm shades of architectural grey paint colours and off-shutter concrete soffits, are balanced with warm natural rock cladding and timber surfaces in vertical applications. Rainwater collection tanks are installed and gathers rainwater from the roof, and then utilized to irrigate the garden.

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