floating in space by W design architecture studio hovers above ground
images © dook for visi  
all images courtesy of W design architecture studio




nestled amongst a mixture of residential and small business properties, the ‘floating in space’ project by johan wentzel and grete van as of W design architecture studio was designed to fit into its ever-changing context. located in the east of pretoria in south africa, the adaptable building can be used as a house, an office or a combination of the two.


an elevated volume is positioned over a set of columns and landscaped garden, creating a sense of juxtaposition with the glass and concrete as they appear to float weightlessly above. interwoven into every level is the concept of resource optimization and multi-functional use of the rooms. the illusion of never-ending space is offered with the expansive glass curtain walls that open up to a wide vista of unobstructed views.


floating in space by W design architecture studio hovers above ground
the elevated concrete and glass mass is positioned over a series of columns



upon approach, the landscape is extended right up to the edge of the street boundary, blurring the distinction between the two and inviting visitors into the property. grass concrete pavers are applied as additional greening, transforming the parking area into a manicured lawn. a courtyard entrance is flanked by the hovering solid geometry the surrounds it. 

view from the upper level exterior



floating lightly between the leafy tree tops, the exposed off-shutter construction system made it possible to cast the walls, floor and roof as a complete shape from a singular material. the playful use of colored glass beads fills the holes left by the concrete formwork in the sides, allowing for decorative light to filter through.

looking through the middle of the roof terrace



careful consideration was given to the climatic behavior of the building, with cantilevered overhangs used as protection against unwanted, direct sunlight. the windows also slide open to encourage passive cooling through cross ventilation and are equipped with sheer motorized roller blinds to that can be controlled by the user. the seemingly ‘rawness’ of the finishes invites occupants to customize the flexible spaces according to their specific needs, encouraging them to participate in the process of the building’s creation.

interior view of the living space


(left) storage system
(right) office space



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.