nestled on the slopes of the bronberg mountain, in south africa,  W DESIGN architecture studio introduces a contemporary residence that highlights the distinct environment; a combination of rocky bushveld and highveld grassland. with the aim to merge landscape and architecture, the design generates a series of platforms to provide a spacious living environment with mesmerizing panoramic views. 

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spacious and inviting, the open plan living, dining and kitchen space spills over onto the lawn terrace with its spectacular sunset views
all images by dook for visi and thom media



between the steep, rocky slopes of the mountain, and the logistics of constructing a rather large accommodation requirement into a low profile landscape, the dwelling by W DESIGN had to literally carve the site open to find its ‘perch’. the new structure was guided by a ‘scarred’ portion of the property, a derelict platform left behind from previous development before subdivision and densification. the old platform essentially positioned the current living areas and central space of the residence between the visible rock face of the bronberg and the open views to the north.

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the living areas on the lower level are linked with the natural landscape through an intermediate courtyard



W DESIGN integrates the dwelling into its natural surroundings, creating a series of single-story or ground-level platforms that protect the outline of the horizon. each platform is set back from the levels below, following the contours of the property. the roofs of these platforms are used to ‘reclaim’ open landscape in front of the upper levels, allowing for a contemporary space to be formed, providing panoramic connections to the landscape from all areas of the home.

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a cantilever allows the overhead concrete roof garden to float over the outdoor terrace below, creating an uninterrupted flow between the interior and the extended views



the absolute focus of this residential project, part building, part landscape, is to celebrate and be aware of its fantastic natural surroundings and views by keeping the built form as low profile as possible and allowing the landscape to eventually cover and merge with the man made forms. as the indigenous vegetation and natural beauty recovers, this home will seamlessly adapt and fuse with the sensitive natural habitat.

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the natural contours and exposed rock faces of the mountain were used to create a series of terraces originating from the base of the mountain, gradually climbing up to make the most of the views

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tufts of indigenous veld grass thrive on top of the roof terraces to envelop the living rooms below and frame uninterrupted views across the city skyline

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the bedrooms are completely focused towards the extended views

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the rocky mountainside and natural landscape shape the bathroom courtyard

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all the bedrooms feature their own private timber decks stepping into the rocky mountainside

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the detailing and finishes were kept clean-cut and minimalist
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the living room lawn terrace is positioned on top of the service level, buried below the landscape

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the architects were inspired to design a home that would merge unobtrusively into the unique landscape



project info:


name: between a rock and an open place
architecture office: W DESIGN architecture studio
location: 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: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom