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House Gillibrand
Johannesburg, Gauteng

Michael Kidd SUTTON: Design Architect
Ann SUTTON: Landscape Architect


"I love paintings, sculpture, dim lights, exotic baths, brass beds, jasmine creepers, olive trees, cypress trees, anything and everything Greek (!) salty men and pink gins !!!!", wrote Miss Gillibrand to her architect.

The idea evolved from two things; the vernacular architecture of the Greek islands where the mysteries of enclosed space are the subject of everlasting speculation and, nearer us, the magic aura of the Zulu Kraal, a series of circles within a circle.

The plan is a number of irregular cells, linked together by passages and steps, and covered by irregular shaped domes and vaults, surrounding a courtyard with a small swimming pool.

(ARTLOOK October, 1970 pg 39)

Submitted by Fernand F. Haenggi, September 2019.

The house was done by builders of Portuguese extraction, familiar with Mediterranean construction techniques. Domes were constructed of chicken-wire netting and the concrete packed by hand. Waterproofing, the technology less advanced at the time, proved problematic. The landscape architect sister of the architect did the landscape design and donated twelve olive trees to "add to the Cycladic atmosphere" (Sutton, 2015:80)

Writings about this entry

Sutton, Michael Kidd. 2015. Michael Sutton : architect. Athens, Greece: Foinikas Publications. pg 80-85