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Matsheumhlope House
Matsheumhlope No. 2, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

A Cedric DOLD: Architect



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20°11'44.94" S 28°37'24.46" E Alt: 1403m

The one-acre [4000 sq m] site in Matsheumhlope No. 2, a southern suburb of Bulawayo, was purchased after consultation with the architect. It is of a rocky nature with large outcrops and indigenous trees and cacti, with one particularly large rock which it was decided to incorporate as a feature within the house. Both the view and the fall are to the north and to retain the view and privacy, the entrance was positioned on the south.

The clients required an informal house with a large terrace related to the living areas. A swimming pool was also required and in order to relate it to the house and be accessible, this was positioned at the end of the terrace. The slope of the ground made two sides inaccessible, but this was thought preferable to a detached pool at a lower level. The diving board was placed on the west side, leaving one side only with no access. The pool forms a visual stop to the terrace without interrupting the view.

A master bedroom with its own bathroom and dressing room, three small bedrooms and a study cum bedroom were required in the bedroom wing.

Due to the height of the floor level of this wing, a store-room and dressing rooms were provided on the lower level at the north end.

The roof is low pitched and constructed of "Tabcoweld" roofing on exposed Afrormosia rafters over the lounge, dining room, terrace and entrance hall, and boarding on conventional trusses over the bedroom wing with flat ceilings.

Internal finishes are fairface brickwork, wallpaper and composition tile floors. Rhodesian teak strip flooring was used in the lounge to add warmth in contrast to the natural rock. In addition, a "Jetmaster Hex" fireplace was set against the rock to contrast its lightness and form.

The floor level to the dining room is raised one step above the lounge floor level and with the large sliding glass doors and windows, the whole living area is given a feeling of spaciousness without sacrificing cosiness.

(Wale 1962:73, 81)

Writings about this entry

Wale, Laurie (Editor). 1962. New home building ideas : Architects' plans for southern Africa. Cape Town: Purnell & Sons. pg 79-82