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House Brandt

House Brandt, Bloemfontein, South Africa

2016 - 2017

Photographs: Justus Liebenberg & Marcel Liebenberg

The brief from the client was for the addition of two bedrooms for guests (one with an en – suite bathroom) as well as another bathroom and living space that provides easy access to the existing swimming pool.

The existing house’s northern facade was shaded by an overgrown terrace that blocked most of the northern sun and light.  The existing swimming pool’s location, at the top of the terrace, also made access to that area very difficult.  

The main entrance of the house influenced the main axis of the design of the additional spaces and became the organising spine of the design.  This lead to the main axis being the circulation to the guest bedroom on the ground floor and the guest bedroom, ablution and living space on the upper level.  The swimming pool area is then accessed through sliding folding doors from the living space.  Upon entering the house, the axis also provides a visual link to the new spaces.

The secondary existing circulation diverts from the main axis and leads to the kitchen, dining area and existing bedrooms and bathrooms.  Existing structural walls between the kitchen, dining area and patio were removed in order to link these spaces and to provide light to the interior.

The terrace was pushed away from the northern façade and the existing rock from the site was used to build the retaining wall.  The new patio links with the dining area and kitchen and is covered by a wooden slat roof which bends down at the western facade to form a vertical louver in order to filter the western sun.

A particular challenge was that the additional design could not have windows to the east, due to the building being a meter from the site boundary.  The existing fenestration of the existing house was already on the aloud square meterage.  The design response was to provide the built-in cupboards on that side and to let light penetrate from the west.    

This strong linear influence from the axis gave rise to the additional building being in contrast with the existing house, both in geometry, materials and colour.

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