During our first meeting with the Stals family at their existing home in Dalsig, Stellenbosch, the challenges of the journey we were about to embark on was as daunting as thrilling. After careful deliberation the clients decided to demolish the old house with its damp issues and confusing circulation allowing us to start with a clean slate. In essence they wanted a contemporary home that made the most of the perfect site location with simplified flow and interconnecting access to all spaces…..and without damp problems!
We developed a strong concept of a central circulation street that connects two distinctive building wings. The main staircase cascades down this street connecting 4 split levels with a platform lift allowing even greater ease of movement when one arrives at the top level entrance with shopping, luggage or even a pram. The circulation street culminates in a triple volume glass façade with a stinkwood tree as the focal point of the vista. All this opens up to visitors only when they enter the front door from the deliberately understated Dennerand street approach.The two wings allowed us to orientate the house in such a way the all the living spaces and bedrooms face north while at the same time avoiding internal retaining walls. Gabions are used extensively to create a series of terraces with the landscape becoming an extension of the architecture. The interior is filled with light streaming in from the north and east with natural colours and materials such as timber floors and slatted oak ceilings contributing to a calm and warm backdrop for the activities of a busy family. A narrow staircase tucked into the side of the living room leads down to the poolroom that hovers above the swimming pool and opens up to the pool deck. Here the lines between inside and outside becomes a blur as the Garapa deck flows from the one to the other.
Further down the kids can slip along the concrete path thru the garden to the Coligny street boundary where their schools are only a stone throw away.