House 3 - Cohen Judin, Seven Houses, Parkview, Johannesburg, SA

2008

This house optimizes the sloping site by working within a split-level living arrangement. This split reduces the rise from ground to first floor improving ease of circulation and flow of interior spaces. The staircase located in the central triple volume space becomes a sculptural element that rises out of the ground plain. Also located in this volume is the multi-volume library that further activates the circulation.

The children and main bedroom areas are separated by the triple vo

lume vertical circulation space. The children have a single open plan area (able to be separated at some later stage) consisting of a 12m x 3.6m volume with windows on both width walls as well as a loft area at one end that opens onto a roof terrace. The main bedroom has an open patio on one end overlooking a large oak tree and a bathroom space connected through a dressing corridor that bridges an exterior courtyard.

The larger other courtyard is on the north side of the house and is enclosed by the house and neighboring house and opens onto the common garden. The other smaller courtyard is located centrally to bring in light and ventilation.  Both courtyards have been planted with a forest of trees.

The building steps back on the street edge to making space for more trees and other planting. The vegetation screens the house, cools it in the summer and softens the common streetscape.

The glazing is either in steel or aluminum frames: gridded steel frames have a steel mesh screen for security, softening the light and increased privacy, and large aluminum windows slide away to extend interior spaces out. The steel wire screens are positioned 700mm away from the window/door opening to create a strip balcony and allow the doors to be left open at night.