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House Nel

· Residential ·   Hillcrest, KZN·   2011

The site sits elevated on a hill, formally part of an equestrian farm. With southerly views over the Hammersdale countryside, the design leant heavily towards making the most of the pastoral setting.

A low construction budget also dictated a humble but proud design of a building that fits well in the local village arrangement. The front door to the house feeds off an old timber plank verandah. On entering, one is surprised by the spaciousness of the 120sqm building which is accentuated by the exposed timber beams, emanating a feeling of openness. A recycled-brick fireplace inside the open- plan lounge and dining, almost seems to draw the visitor and resident alike, evoking a sense of bucolic poignancy. Besides the recycled materials, the buildings’ carbon footprint was addressed through the use of a cement bagwash on the walls instead of a plastered finish. The floors were left as exposed concrete and even the landscaping played a role in the environmental impact through the re-using the local wild grasses and excavated rocks within the garden layout.

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