Ethal Woods. home design. February 03rd , 2017.
A key strategy to create a generous level for principal living rooms was to elevate the main level on a plinth comprising of guest bedrooms and secondary spaces such as the Gym, Study, Garage and all plant This Ground Floor is partially set into the steep site thereby maximising the living level and raising it above the noisy provincial road. The First and Second Floors were then set back, fragmented and rotated to create a central but sheltered external terrace. A glass bridge forms the link between the fragmented structures at the upper levels and permits North sunlight to shine between the bedroom wings and into the central areas on the South side of the house.
Two important criteria for the clients were that the project had to include a central courtyard and that the main living areas were to have double volume. At the front of the plot the concept of a traditional Cape Dutch Langhuis with gabled ends was conceptualized. This part of the house was designed to contain the formal lounge & dining, informal lounge & braai room as well as the master bedroom and en-suite, giving all these areas direct access to the front pool terrace with spectacular views to the surrounding vineyards and mountains. In the Langhuis open trusses were used to give all the rooms a larger volume. To the rear of the Langhuis the two side wings and a linking lobby create a sheltered central courtyard which also visually links the kitchen to the family TV lounge. Identical feature stairs link to the guest bedroom suites located in the roof lofts of these back wings.
The expansive and largely untouched front and rear lawns are anchored by couple of anachronous ficus trees that act as generous foreground for the house. It is the courtyard with its orchestrated reflective pool, infinity-edged swimming pool, and floating wooden decks which engages with the mostly transparent, folding threshold of the house.
The clients’ brief was to ensure that when they occupied the house on their own that it was not too big and empty, however at the same time it also had to allow for the whole family and grandchildren should they decide to stay over. The decision was made to keep all the entertainment spaces as well as the master bedroom on the ground floor, with three additional guest suites on the first level. regulations only permitted a single story, the guests’ suites were accommodated in the roof attics.
The design is both innately beautiful and functional; a concept that Shelly and Avi Osadon, the husband and wife duo behind SEE Materials and SEE Construction, flawlessly choreographed. Upon arrival, the first of a series of show-stopping moments is its impressive scale with an attention to detail that is never compromised. The grand pivot door sweeps open to reveal a 36-foot high ceiling and gleaming chandelier comprised of 25 custom, glass-blown globes. This enormous entry space offers a view through the home to the backyard in one continual gaze.