Located on a steep ridge in Johannesburg alongside a Nature Reserve this proposal makes the most of the site and creates four unique dwellings, each with its own access, privacy and distinct design format.

The design response is based on the natural beauty and expansive views from the site. Each site has a different connection to the immediate landscape. The site predicates an architecture that is both sensitive to its surrounds as well as to form a platform for experiencing the endless views.
The Garden House

Embedded in the landscape

A double-storey structure is neatly embedded into the natural slope of the site. A large stone retaining wall defines the edges of the house and forms a natural backdrop to the interior spaces. Large north-facing bedroom suites are on the top floors and living areas open up to the garden on the ground floor.

Terrace House

Resting on the landscape

A single storey located on the site of the original house on the property. The living space area has views into a contained garden which is the back retaining wall of the Garden House and views across to the nature reserve from its elevated position.

Stepped Houses

Floating above the landscape

These triple storey houses sit alongside each other and have a central spine with living areas and rooms oriented towards a horizontal outwards panoramic view of the landscape.

Overview of Site Plan

The approach to the building is by means of a winding road that ascends with the natural contours of the site, allowing changing vistas of both the building construct and the landscape beyond.


A large skylight that runs across the length of the house draws natural light from the roof terrace above while large double volume voids visually connect the living areas to the bedroom suites above. The kitchen is thus filled with natural light from the garden and the skylight above. The linear layout of the living space allows for discreet spaces to relax and watch television or entertain with a view of the garden along the entire length.


The exterior of the building emanates from the textures and materials of the site specific landscape with stone packed walls, copper clad roofing and grassed roofs. The external textures act as an additional linking element between the building and the site. This use of natural materials is taken into the interiors with natural stone and timber cladding completing off shuttered concrete and CORE-TEN mechanised steel screens which shield the upper floor bedrooms from natural light.

Proposal 2019
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