Kloof Road House in Bedfordview, South Africa by Nico van der Meulen Architects

Located at the foot of a nature reserve in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, Kloof Road House is the latest project by Nico van der Meulen Architects. The client’s brief called for a family orientated home suitable for indoor/outdoor entertainment that maximizes the views to the north. The result is a 1100m² sculptural piece of architecture that is an extreme transformation from the previously modest single story.

With every room in the house opening outdoors, linking the home with the landscaped garden, indoor/outdoor living is guaranteed. Werner van der Meulen used morphed steels forms that wrap around and frame the structure by the use of parasitic architecture. From the street, the boldly designed off-shutter boundary wall with black steel shapes creeping over predicts that this is no ordinary piece of architecture.

The black steel sliding garage doors of the four new garages that were added on top of the existing house, combine with the sculptural steel forms of the guard house and porte cochere. Diagonal strip lights featured within the wall of the entrance create an abstract pattern at night that guides visitors to the entrance gate.

Steel, glass and concrete are prominently used in Kloof Road House and have been integrated into the design, from the boundary wall all the way to the interior. The angled steel roof of the entrance hall overhangs the double volume window and glass front door at the entrance, while the sculptural steel staircase is visible behind the window. The wall of the entrance is clad with natural timber in a herringbone pattern to soften the harshness of the steel, glass and concrete interior, while the backlit ceilings create a shadowless interior inside the sculptured 3D forms.

M Square Lifestyle Design translated the architectural concept of Kloof Road House into the interior design. Steel perforated panels and off-shutter concrete were amongst the elements used for the interior, while the design of the lighting compliments the bold forms of the home and defines the angles. Concrete, glass and steel visually link the interior and exterior, smoothly integrating architecture and interior design. The furniture, decor and feature lights that complement this are sourced from M Square Lifestyle Necessities.

Nico van der Meulen Architect’s trademark of seamlessly connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces is achieved through the use of frameless folding glass doors, transforming the lanai into an extension of the living room.

The double volume living room and dining room, kitchen and lanai are situated in an open plan area and coherently merge into one another with a polished concrete floor extending to the lanai. The angled columns supporting steel beams and the roof pierce the double volume space. These structural elements were designed to appear sculptural, while the sculptures on display compliment the structural components of the building.

Energy efficiency was very important, so a decision was made to use a water-based under floor heating system, connected to solar panels and a heat pump, both for heating and cooling. This was installed in a polished concrete floor for good conductivity.

Kloof Road House has four en suite bedrooms; two children’s bedrooms and a guest bedroom situated downstairs and the main bedroom suite located upstairs. The design of the main bedroom incorporates a large open balcony with views stretching to the far horizon, while the open plan bathroom flows around the corner to the expansive dressing room. The main suite has its own lounge area with a television and fireplace, as well as a mini kitchenette cum bar. A pajama-lounge and playroom is located upstairs and overlooks the double volume living spaces and kitchen, leading onto a large north-facing balcony that forms the roof of the lanai, offering views of the garden and other distant views.

A 12 x 8m floating pavilion is located on the lower level of the sloping garden and affords views of the northern façade in its entirety, as well as the cantilevered koi pond and north views towards Sandton. The pavilion allows for effortless entertaining at the swimming pool with an open fire pit next to it, as well as a barbeque and bar located within.

Photography by David Ross and Barend Roberts

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