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House Taylor
Pretoria, Gauteng


2011PIA Award for Architecture

Award Citation

The new residence for the renowned sculptor Angus Taylor is situated in an estate to the east of Pretoria near the southern slopes of the Bronberg mountain range.

Upon entering the site, the visitor is confronted with a number of choices. A double storey structure clad in roughhewn granite tiles (later transpiring to be off-cuts) warrants attention and stairs spilling around its corner hint at a front door.

The door represents a threshold on a number of levels. Firstly, it could be seen as the division between inside and outside, but also between studio and house or between production and living. To the left is the double volume sculpture studio with an overlooking platform for the master. To the right, the lounge opens onto a wooden deck and grassed plane with a depressed amphitheatre in red masonry around a fire pit.

The lounge is linked by a passage to three north facing bedrooms, with the service spaces on the southern side.

This house could be defined as a container. Within the holder the occupant and his trade are housed together with his growing art collection. The house as receptacle is on display. Simultaneously, the house is required to be neutral (forming the environment for the displayed).

To achieve this duality, the design team at Mathews and Associates employs the opening (in wall or roof) as a mechanism to allow light in. This design explores the opening in a number of ways. Among others, these include narrow skylights in the concrete roof slab, deep shaped boxes, as well as funnelled steel and concrete punctures.

According to Mathews and Associates, the window focuses attention on particular artworks whilst becoming sculptural elements themselves.

This project is bold and the landscape design supports the container in a sympathetic manner. The adjudicators would like to congratulate Pieter Mathews, Liam Purnell, Heinz Janz and their team on an innovative home suited to house a sculptor and his artworks.

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.