Serengeti House - African dream

A Johannesburg home designed by world renowned Nico van der Meulen Architects, has caught our eye with its contemporary lines and sleek design.

The Serengeti House, is a perfectly balanced blend of earthy textures, high gloss finishes, raw materials and refined elements. “The brief”, says Rudolph van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects, “was to create a stylish family home with ecologically sound design that maximized indoor-outdoor living to take full advantage of Johannesburg’s legendary eight-month summer”.

The double-storey home has an open-plan living area downstairs, an upstairs pyjama lounge, a study, and four bedrooms, all of them en-suite. The three family bedrooms are upstairs, and the guest room is situated downstairs, separating it from the family’s sleeping area to maximize privacy

The home combines the use of rock, steel, wood and glass – classic modernist design elements re-mixed for new applications. The front of the home features a rusted-steel-clad wall, cleverly mounted on tracks so that it slides back to reveal the garage. Visual continuity is provided through the use of rusted-steel finishing on the entrance and upper-level window frames. Wood is used on the home’s walkway and its bathroom flooring.

There is a Balau wooden walkway from the street to the front door, which passes over a Koi pond that fronts the house. The master bathroom also has Balau wooden-floor decking so when the glass doors are slid back onto the terrace, it visually creates one unified space. It’s also very easy to keep clean. Tiles have been avoided in the bathrooms; back-sprayed glass was used instead. In the kids’ room lime green accents have been used to add some visual punch.

Regardt van der Meulen’s sculptural art and Ronel Jordaan’s world famous Merino-wool felt pebbles provide interest and visual lift in the house

The home’s lower level interacts with the back garden’s pool and dining terrace through the use of floor-to-ceiling slide-back glass walls that create a seamless interactive space. When viewed from the street, the home’s central core is transparent, book-ended by imposing solid shapes on either side; you can look right through it onto the wetland and the golf course beyond its back garden.

The home is also ecologically smart with a two-foot-thick, stone-clad western wall serving as a heat absorber while providing visual kick.  Likewise, the home’s windows are recessed, with overhangs that are strategically cantilevered to catch the sun during the winter months, while blocking it in the summer.  Similarly, the home has sun-control fins to cut out the summer sun. The roof is made of Chromadek and timber, which also provide insulation.

Every design and aesthetic aspect of this spectacular house was catered for by Nico van der Meulen Architects, M Square Lifestyle Design and M Square Lifestyle Necessities. 

?(Photos: Nico van der Meulen Architects)


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