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House CJ
Dullstroom district, Mpumalanga

W DESIGN ARCHITECTURE STUDIO: Architect

Date:c2017
Type:Homestead
Status:Extant
2017SAIA MP Award for Architecture
2018SAIA Award of Merit
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Award of Merit Citation

Man's relationship to nature is the conceptual driving force of this project.

House CJ is situated on an east facing slope of a valley. The valley is relatively narrow, which has the result that the views are relatively contained while it mainly focusses on the west facing slope. In the same manner, those on the west-facing slope of the valley overlook the east bank. This means that whatever is built will have a relatively confined view while also being overlooked from all sides.

The architects' response to this site condition was to split the accommodation in two. The social functions were placed in a barn-like structure above grade and the bedrooms below grade in a structure covered with earth. By doing this it was ensured that the building appears much smaller than what it really is. All-round views from the building were carefully designed, while views towards the building create the impression that it is a simple and romantic barn in a pristine landscape. The way that the building has been designed ensures the idea of shelter and permanent dwelling in an idyllic landscape.

It is a sophisticated building with careful detailing affording all the comforts that could be required. In this manner, it is not a barn in the classic sense of the word, but the image of a barn.

Much care has been taken to ensure that the indigenous landscape will take up its rightful place in the life of this building. The respectful way that the house has been placed in the landscape is its outstanding quality.


Writings about this entry

South African Institute of Architects. 2018. Awards : South African Institute of Architects. Awards for Excellence, Awards of Merit, Regional Awards for Architecture 2017/2018. Cape Town: Picasso for SAIA. pg 36, 37 ill