w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa
 

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa

on a site 10km east of dullstroom in south africa, amid a majestic landscape of rolling hills and misty horizons, w design architecture studio has realized a residential project called ‘unfolding the land.’ as the name implies, the weekend house has been created around the concept of merging it with the surroundings, fusing human with nature in one architectural expression. 

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa

all images © DOOK for VISI

 

 

when developing the project, the architects strived to harness the owners’ penchant for frank lloyd wright and his prairie style of open living spaces. therefore, the starting point of the design came from the natural elements of the site, such as the gentle slope towards the river, the various dams and lakes on the eastern boundary, and the impressive views onto the valley beyond. the inspiration found in ‘the great outdoors’, and the desire to escape from a busy urban life, were used and celebrated to shape the weekend home.

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

the ‘liberated’ barn-like living room structure references back to the farm vernacular 

 

 

the architectural form consists, essentially, out of a ‘liberated’ barn-like living room structure and two native stonework boxes that house the bedrooms. the playful philosophy of ‘lifting the carpet’ of the natural veldgrass and placing the bedrooms underneath ensures that these ‘above ground, earth covered structures’ provide the cosy shelter associated with a mountain cottage while still affording a contemporary architecture with connections to the landscape from all areas of the home.

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

a glazed façade maximizes light from the north and east

 

 

all the functions are positioned along the natural contours of the site, keeping the built form as low as possible and in effect allowing the landscape to eventually cover and merge with the man made forms. the absolute focus for these spaces, part building, part landscape, is to celebrate and be aware of the fantastic natural surroundings and views. as the indigenous vegetation and natural beauty recovers over the next few summer seasons this home will be allowed to seamlessly adapt and fuse with its natural habitat.

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

views feature on three sides of the ‘open’ barn structure

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

the interior is minimal but comfortable, with little to distract from the location

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

inside, there’s a sense of openness that brings tranquility to the space

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

the main bathroom opens out onto a north-facing lightwell that also functions as a private courtyard

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

the open terrace connects onto the boma and ‘the great outdoors’

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

set back into the slope and with green roofs, the native stone clad bedroom structures have an intimate connection with the landscape

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

the design aims to unite the house with nature

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

this is not a building that needs to be looked at, but rather a place to look out from

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

thanks to chromadek metal sheeting, stone sourced from the site and a low profile, the house remains inconspicuous

w design merges landscape with architecture to create barn-like house in south africa designboom

unfolding the land: concept sketch and ideas

 

 

project info:

 

project name: unfolding the land

location: walkersons farm, dullstroom, south africa

design: w design architecture studio

photography: DOOK for VISI

 

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: lynne myers | designboom

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