Photographs: Adam Letch & Elsa Young
Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl True Architects (SAOTA) known as one of the leading architectural firms in the world, has just completed a wonderful villa in Johannesburg, South Africa. Just when you thought they can’t do a better job, the outdid themselves with this breathtaking property known as the 6th 1448 Houghton ZM project.
Architecturally, residences in South Africa have similar layouts in terms of a U-Shape architecture surrounding a central courtyard comprising the swimming pool and access to various parts of the house. This project was no different. What differentiates this particular residence is the fact that the interior design firm Antoni Associates and SAOTA both collaborated perfectly where you feel none overpowered the other. In many projects we see the focus may be on the architecture but the interior is usually dealt with minimally. Here there are details, various use of materials and interior finishes which I thought is what made the project feel more complete.
Description from the designers
The brief was to create a home for an extended Johannesburg family. Situated in Houghton on a gentle slope, the site is surrounded by trees and has views from the upper levels.
The site was split into two separate sites organized around a common entrance and driveway providing access to both houses. The houses have a U-shaped configuration organized around an internal courtyard and allows access to all of the living spaces and the swimming pool. A perforated wall separates the public forecourt from the private spaces.
Internally the spaces pivot around a central volume with a ribbon like spiral stair. The living spaces, kitchen and private garden are to the north, while the games room, pool and gym are to the west. All of these spaces connect to the courtyard which in turn connects back to the main house and its living spaces.
Because of the west facing façade, a set of large shutters, which drop below the level of the first floor slab, provide shade and protection from the setting sun. Care was also taken in selecting performance-glass that would minimize the impact of direct sun. The bedrooms and study are on the upper level. The passage to the children’s bedroom runs along the perforated wall that separates the building from the driveway.
ANTONI ASSOCIATES were appointed to create a contemporary interior which needed to reflect their family lifestyle. The décor and furniture selected are modern and have strong lines to complement the linear architecture. A number of bespoke furniture pieces were designed by OKHA Interiors. Neutral palettes with accent colors have been used throughout. Strong graphic rugs add drama and texture to the rooms which offset against the solid architectural surfaces. Curated art by South African artists amongst others Lyndi Sales and Philip Barlow have been placed throughout the house.