Rustic Farm House in Midrand


This small residence is conceived as 2 parallel tracts separated by a concrete-roofed passage, which acts as a spine. Approached from under a beautiful eucalyptus tree canopy, the entrance door and vertical windows in a solid brick façade of the southern tract are, inspired by derelict stables which originally occupied the site. Adjoining the entrance hall, the bedrooms capitalize on the clerestory windows providing plenty of northern light in winter, whilst the fly-over roofs provide protection in summer.

The northern tract houses the living areas, with large glazed openings leading onto the covered patio, allowing the occupants to enjoy the flexibility of open plan living in a relaxed farm atmosphere.

Flanking each end of the house are textured, organically shaped walls containing the service spaces (bathrooms, a private court with an outdoor shower and a drying yard). These east and west facing spaces, celebrated through pure forms, punctured with a bare minimum of openings, and bold, yet earthy colours, reinforce passive climate control within the building. Solar water heating and rain water harvesting systems were also employed.

The resultant architecture is one that speaks to its setting – responding to the Highveld climate, and nestling within the landscape where it playfully, yet sensitively integrates into the farming context.