Set in a leafy suburb of Johannesburg, the integration of the building and the landscape was the starting point for this project – the client having brought only images of gardens to our first meeting.  Shifting geometries that accommodate existing trees and topography are used to set up a dance of built, unbuilt and planted spaces.  Growing trees or gumpoles representing trees are interspersed in a seemingly random pattern giving the impression of a forest moving through the centre of the house.  The ceiling rafters of this central space twist and turn and, together with the dappled light from randomly placed skylights, create a sense of a forest canopy that moves from outside in and beyond.

Rooms, both internal and external, are organized around the central gallery space – courtyards, verandahs, lounge, dining and kitchen spaces on ground floor with balconies, bedrooms and bathrooms at first floor level.  The informal, almost invisible ‘front door’ is intentional, ‘found’ as you meander through the landscape.  The pool is 25m long for training and has naturally filtered water that circulates via three tiered ponds with plants and wildlife