It was their design of this modern, eco-friendly home that lead to a Ballito-based architectural firm recently being shortlisted for an International Design and Architecture award. We chatted to architect and founder, Gerhard Breedt.
“Every site has a has an essence. A story it wants to tell and a way it wants to be treated. This site was no different.” Gerhard Architect founder Gerhard Breedt loves what he does.
He started his company 16 years ago in office which, he says, was so small that he had to meet clients in the coffee shop across the road! Now his firm is receiving acknowledgement on an international platform and he is being recognised for his environmentally-aware, integrated approach to design.
We chatted to him about this incredible Mount Richmore Estate home.
WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO ENTER THIS PARTICULAR PROPERTY INTO THE AWARDS?
We were actually contacted and asked if we would consider entering this home in two categories (Luxury Residence – Global Award and Project Value of 1 – 2.5 million Pounds) after a social media post. The fact that the property was picked up on an international platform and recognised was what prompted us to pursue the nomination to the next level.
TELL US ABOUT THIS HOME AND THE CLIENT’S BRIEF TO YOU WHEN YOU SET OUT TO DESIGN THIS HOME? This is a permanent family home, but the owners wanted it to have the feel of a holiday home where one can ‘escape’ to from day-to-day stresses and routine. Our goal was to design a modern but timeless home with clean design lines, floating planes and integrated, eco-friendly elements and timberworks. We focussed on creating open plan living areas, a sense of ‘arrival’ and integrating the sea and forest views. There are four bedrooms (all en-suite) and an open plan living (kitchen, dining, lounge) area, all of which seamlessly lead out to the large outside veranda. There is a private study/office space, a second lounge and balconies off of all the bedrooms. There is also a massive lap pool and we maximized the beautiful ocean and inland bush views, while still ensuring privacy.
HOW DID THE LOCATION AND THE LOOK AND FEEL OF THE ESTATE INFLUENCE THE DESIGN? The site has beautiful sea views, as well views of a stunning forest greenbelt. We wanted it to feel as though you were in the forest when you enter through the double-volume foyer with floating bridge, which we staggered slightly to maximise the sea views. Every estate has an ethos and code to create a ‘standard’ to be upheld. The Mount Richmore Estate architectural code allows for quite a modern, coastal interpretation and expressiveness.
HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THE ALMOST SEAMLESS INDOOR/OUTDOOR FLOW OF THE HOME? Integrated inside-outside living was a non-negotiable directive from the clients. Large sliding glass panels that ‘disappear’ and a lot of large glass elements on the view sides blur the lines between the inside and outside to a large extent. It also helped greatly that there was no level change between the inside and outside.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGN ELEMENTS OF THIS HOME? We love the design as a whole and how every element plays its part. We do, however, feel that a home must have a sense of arrival and just love the entrance detail, from when you open the massive doors and then just experience the forest right in front of you. Strong horizontal planes and large glass areas further enhance the integrated feel between the home and its surroundings.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO HAVE BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR THESE AWARDS? As a small, passionate firm receiving international recognition means a lot. It’s so great knowing that your architectural abilities are not only being recognised and showcased, but also confirms our theory that limitations are just a self-imposed concept … and that ‘David and Goliath’ do indeed fight on the same battlefield!
Details: 082 652 3889, [email protected], IG/FB: @gerhardarchitect, www.gerhardarchitect.co.za
Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Sam Basson, Precision Photography