Nico van der Meulen is a true master of his craft and I have been a fan of his architecture for as long as I can remember. I have always been especially captivated by his ability to transform dated buildings into artistic masterpieces. When we decided to renovate our first house twenty-five years ago, there was no question in my mind that Nico was the architect we needed to turn our vision into a reality.
Since then, Nico has assisted us with three other major renovation projects, including our current home, and has never failed to astonish us with his creativity, energy, and innovation. Nico expertly captures the aspirations and style of his clients within the boundaries of the specific project, simultaneously enhancing the individuality and uniqueness of each project. He is constantly setting trends, yet always remains attentive to the practicality of each design while creating a truly mesmerising experience for each client.
de s residence
de s residence
This is the fifth home Nico van der Meulen has designed for the client whom he has known for nearly twenty years.
The home was bought for the expansive views over Mooikloof to the south, but unfortunately, the original house design did not take the sun into consideration, with very few north-facing windows to let the winter sun in, and quite a few west-facing ones, which overheated the home in summer.
The client requested a total redesign, changing the home from a pseudo-Mediterranean villa into a contemporary indoor/outdoor living home, making the most of the views and the climate.
As the property is quite spacious, a new large infinity outdoor pool and a lanai cum games room were added, taking full advantage of the view, while also acting as a pavilion for the new squash court and access to the gymnasium next to the squash court.
An entrance hall was added so arriving guests could go straight to the entertainment complex without having to walk through the home first.
The central atrium was converted into a double volume indoor pool area, with a huge, north-facing frameless glass door and skylight to let in more sun onto the pool.
The redesign also created a separate living area with its own entrance for the clients’ student son and a cottage for their daughter.
As the main feature, the entrance to the home was designed with an internally lit marble-clad staircase floating over a koi-pond. Several designer light fittings add drama to this area, with a bridge crossing the double volume areas.
Nico designed two feature walls using an abstract light pattern, enlivening it at night as it was quite dull.
North facing sliding doors with sun control measures were added to all rooms, resulting in a much more energy-efficient home, while making it transparent from north to south.
A major garden landscaping redesign was undertaken by De Wet Louw Landscape Architect to better suit the home. Sculptures by Angus Taylor, Louis Chanu, Anton Smit, and Lydia da Silva are strategically placed in and around the home.