House Coetzer- Mooikloof

Located in Mooikloof Residential estate where a large variety of different architectural styles have proliferated such as Boere Spaans, Variant of Tuscan Architecture, and Neo Classical and Neo Baroque Styles. To their credit the clients, a young professional couple, requested a natural and earthbound expression of dwelling rather than a self-conscious reference to style or Modern Formalism.

The house was completed over the last 8 years in three stages. The initial project completed in April 2001 comprised of 221 sqm house. “The initial compact house engages logically with the corner aspect of the site.  Essentially following the pavilion typology of a freestanding object in space, the L-shape of the plan nevertheless allows for the definition of varied spatial experiences around the building.  The more public domain of the living/dining and kitchen area constitutes the northern wing, with the more private spaces of the sleeping quarters creating the shorter east wing.  This effectively creates a courtyard space on the southern side of the building that becomes a more intimate and protected space, which mediates between the natural landscape and the synthetic interior.  Double height windows manipulate selected views between in and outside, while hinting at function and scale of the northeastern views, with large doors extending the space to include the terrace protected by a suspended steel and timber sapling structure”.

In 2004 an additional 143sqm was added. These comprised the out building and the 25m lap/ swimming pool and swimming pool terrace. As per the initial brief a simple brick structure with light floating steel roof was added. A single storey elongated building in the landscape complete the building complex at that time.

In 2008 the rest of the complex were completed with the addition of the western wing. With this addition the main courtyard was enclosed to the west. The programme comprised of a new covered veranda, a living room and a Television room on ground floor level. Three new bedrooms were added on the first floor, one being the main suite. Essentially the same finishes were utilized in the construction, with the addition of more of-shutter concrete work. The windows of the bedroom were orientated to face directly north, were-by ensuring a more effective winter solar access and by eluding direct summer gain. In essence the western façade is subtle play of red brick, bagged brick and of-shutter concrete finishes. The other finishes remain robust with simple sealed cement screed floors, bagged masonry walls and gypsum board ceilings.  Simple and familiar materials are elevated through good design, recognizing the importance of disciplined proportioning an appropriate use of local craft skills. 

Influenced by a critical awareness of regional concern, local materials and building techniques are used in a manner that challenges existing methodologies, siting of building and response to climate.  These influences extend to include both the expressive work of a younger generation of local architects like Ora Joubert and Derick de Bruyn, as well as the materiality and geometric discipline of Jooste and Eaton buildings.

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