Having spent the last 48 years in the building industry and 36 years since we started Nico van der Meulen Architects, the years begin to blur together…… It is difficult to comprehend that the first few months of the year have passed, with all our projects running full steam again.
Several high-profile houses are under construction, a few of which have been pulled through from last year. Our well-documented home in Mooikloof Heights has reached practical completion in the last month, with the clients taking occupation soon thereafter. Residence Victoria also achieved practical completion, with final finishing taking place prior to the clients taking full occupation.
Being in the industry where time is critical to the completion of every project, and that time is also the element that tests our resolve more than anything else, we are instilled with a sense of pride when previous projects reach completion. Residence Geti 282 in Serengeti, House Mooi and PON in Waterfall Estate, as well as Residence ASN in Glenhazel also occupy this list of completed projects for last year.
Geti 282 is a sizeable dwelling that was designed back in 2016 and construction commenced in early 2017. The house is situated in the Serengeti Estate, on a stand that offers glimpses of the Golf Course while being afforded a generous orientation to the north for effective natural light.
Situated on a corner stand, the owners required some privacy considering they are exposed on two edges of the house to the public domain. The fundamental principle of concealment is evident in the treatment of the southern facade which constitutes the entrance to the house via the entrance lobby, a single and a double garage. These are all concealed behind seamless sliding doors to resemble the adjacent walls, thereby creating a solidified aesthetic. This becomes the base of the house.
The first floor was handled quite similar in that the southern volume of the floor was treated as its own unit, clad in klip-tite sheeting to resemble ‘blocks’ being stacked on one another.
The house is simple and understated beyond the secluded and private facades, boding enough space between the open plan family room and dining room, as well as the kitchen. These spaces flow out onto the lanai which is adjacent to the swimming pool.
The first floor accommodates all the private bedrooms, a pajama lounge and double volume to the family room.
In its completeness, the house has become an edifice of the client’s requirements and beliefs in the project, their lifestyle and their desired living conditions.
Referencing new beginnings, there are five projects that have broken ground late last year with an exciting period of construction ahead of them.
Four interesting and exciting projects are townhouse/apartment developments; Yo Residences comprising 101 units in Broadacres, Kampala apartments, Berula Views in Benoni and Diamond Developments in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
It seems we are also starting this year with endings, with a few projects that are anticipated to be completed later in the year, including Residence SARA in Sandhurst, Residence Co, as well as Morningside Penthouse. Internationally, Residence De Congo and Residence Lubumbashi are developing well towards completion mid-year.
Several interesting projects are currently on the drawing boards; River View residence in Steyn City will be submitted for approval soon, as well as Residence Wonder in Mooikloof and House La Porte Vase in Kroonstad. Respectively, they are quite unique and attuned to their environments.
In Tampa, Florida, the second phase of a 2000 square meter waterfront house is being developed, while locally we have a few renovations and alterations to Residence Fife and the highly published Residence BOZ coming up soon.