A gem of a retirement home

by Tania Wannenburg

The award-winning House De Villiers personifies a comfortable yet secure living space with a sophistication that contradicts its apparent modesty.

House De Villiers, a quaint, two-bedroom house designed for a retiring couple, exemplifies sophisticated simplicity. Despite working with a small footprint and a modest budget, the outcome was a modern, environmentally sensitive and historically astute home.

Jacques de Villiers from Konsep Architects designed this small, lock-up-and-go retirement sanctuary for his parents on the back portion of his existing property, while skilfully keeping the spaces separate. A relatively small site, he specifically aimed to create maximum privacy, while providing seamless and secure interaction with the outdoors.

He therefore opted for a courtyard house, with the living areas and main bedroom spilling out onto a patio area with a small swimming pool. Being familiar with the property’s legacy and highlights, De Villiers decided to preserve a lemon tree that produced a good yield over the years and now stands proud in the courtyard.

“The building had to be a clean and simple backdrop to the existing house, and should also not compete with the neighbouring Victorian house. It is only when one enters the house that one really gets the feel of the home,” he states.

Sustainability was another big consideration and the design includes well-conceived energy-efficient and environmental building materials and services. Rainwater is harvested from all roofs and used for gardening and washing purposes, while the timber floor was constructed from the felled beefwood tree which was removed during construction.

Award-winning design
House De Villiers was honoured with an Award of Excellence in the residential architecture (new houses) category of the Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA) Awards, and also received a WALLS & ROOFS and FLOORS Stand-out Project of the Year merit certificate.

The judges commended the house for being small, understated and spatially well-controlled. “There is a clear juxtaposition between an existing, old Brooks’ farm structure and the new building, with keen consideration for the site’s neighbouring historic Victorian building on the west.

“The building demonstrates a thoughtful consideration of the clients’ requirements for a home to serve as a retirement sanctuary that is comfortable and secure, yet sophisticated,” the panel commented.

Konsep Architects
Tel: 083 380 0468
Website: jacquesdevilliers.org

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