w design architecture studio renovates 1900s farm house into contemporary home in south africa

w design architecture studio renovates 1900s farm house into contemporary home in south africa

w design architecture studio renovated an early 1900s farm house initially designed in the cape dutch architectural style into a contemporary residence. located in an old eastern suburb of pretoria, south africa, the house combines the inside and the outside, the historic and the modern, and open and closed spaces.




the architects’ idea for the renovation was aiming to apply the existing home to contemporary times. they achieved this by opening up and incorporating all the various interior living room functions onto the best part of the house, which is the stoep – the central core of the space. the design approach pays homage to frank lloyd wright’s prairie style of architecture which incorporated low pitched roofs, overhanging eaves, a central chimney, and open floor plans which, he believed was the antidote to the confined, closed-in architecture of the victorian era, or in this case cape dutch.




the architects decided to keep the two matching gables, remaining as the dominant feature of the facade. the additions to the house remain light, lean and unobtrusive. the new bathroom can be seen on the far left, the stoep in the middle and the new study on the far right. looking through the doorway with original leaded-glass doors, the entrance hall forms part of the study structure and creates a new arrival into the home.




the kitchen, which is positioned in the middle of the home was opened up to the living spaces and outside terrace, focusing on the outward views. a humble dining table on a grand scale, made of the home’s recycled pine ceiling planks, is complemented by a series of david krynauw joburg stoel 602 chairs. the main bedroom, which is still in its original position, opens onto the stoep. the new main bathroom is a locus of calm, with doors that slide away to reveal a secluded garden.




in the study, the owner’s picturesque antique desk is positioned to allow expansive views over the garden. the entrance addition ‘slides’ underneath the existing old roof structure. the living room is positioned behind one of the old gables and features a kirkness brick fireplace. the bedrooms include various contemporary interventions and furniture pieces.




project info:


architecture: w design architecture studio

location: pretoria, south africa



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.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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