Stand 47 - A home for the future
As a project, this house appears to be like any other up-market home. An elegant contemporary aesthetic with high-quality earthy finishes belies the high-tech systems and materials within its walls.
The quest to design a state-of-the-art home using building materials that are traditionally not associated with residential architecture in South Africa, is not an easy task. Changing the mindset of property owners to invest in a home that is built out of light steel and dry-walling requires the full collaboration of the design and construction team, in order to demonstrate that not only is this possible, but also provides far better efficiencies and comfort packaged in an elegant contemporary aesthetic. Achieving this requires an interactive process, one which demystifies the building process and generates interest in the procedure, decision-making and application of the concepts at various stages of the project.
The Stand 47 case study house is an example of all these qualities. It is the result of developer Gavin Rooke’s vision to foster dynamic collaboration between building professionals Thomashoff + partner architects, technical staff from Saint-Gobain, the builder Style Projects and various innovative suppliers to create a high-quality contemporary home that can stand the test of time and evolve the needs of its inhabitants change. This last aspect has been especially important in informing not only the architectural character of the building (a ‘fixed’ service wing that houses the kitchen and bathrooms and a more adaptable open ‘living’ wing which contains the bedrooms and living areas), but also in demonstrating the versatility of the internal dry-walls produced by Gyproc. In terms of adaptability, the ease with which internal drywalls can be removed, adapted or extended is enhanced through the design of an internal living space that has a continuous floor and ceiling surface into which walls are placed to create rooms. If in future the needs of the family change, the internal spaces can be adapted at a fraction of the cost and time. In terms of the versatility of materials, Gyproc boards are able to filter pollutants from the air, hold a high resistance against moisture and mould, isolate noises between rooms, insulate temperatures at better than brick, and if in future the house is demolished they are bio-degradable.
All this would be of little use if it could not be shared with interested parties. And so, the entire process has been collected on a digital platform in order to demystify the process of construction. This was done using a website www.stand47.co.za with links to Facebook and Twitter, in order to connect a broader audience to the project and create awareness in public and professional realms. The website contributes to the learning in three distinct ways; a 4 Step process breaks down the building method into specific phases, a visual diary provides articles relating to specific areas of interest and the Tour section provides a room-by-room description about the qualities and specifics of each room. The website is a repository of valuable information about the learning and discoveries at Stand 47 that demonstrate the quality and technological advances of this type of construction.
As a project, this house appears to be like any other up-market home. An elegant contemporary aesthetic with high-quality earthy finishes belies the high-tech systems and materials within its walls. However, this home has potential to out-perform most brick homes – it is far more energy efficient, it harvests sunlight and rainwater without looking liking like a ‘green machine’ and perhaps most importantly, it can adapt to the needs of inhabitants meaning that they do not have to move if their needs outgrow the interior spaces of the home. Since the future is uncertain, a house should continue to be home for as long as possible - Stand 47 makes this conceivable.