East of Tshwane in Gauteng, South Africa is the spectacular Mooikloof Heights home designed by Nico van der Meulen Architects which is situated on a north sloping 15000sq.m. site. This home is approached from the north where it is completely transparent, but as the driveway curves around the west side it becomes a collection of stacked rusted boxes without any openings.
Due to the size of the site, the house could be stretched to extend to nearly 85m from east to west: The north elevation is totally glazed across the three storeys with deeply recessed glazing to create sun control.
The house is clad with natural stone and rusted steel panels framing openings in the façade. These materials speak to the taste of the client, as well as the environment.
The soil is composed of deep slate rock which had to be excavated and used for the gabion walls or crushed and covered with topsoil to create the garden. The sloping landscape was reduced to different terraces, creating a stepped landscape with a large retaining pond on the lowest level.
Mooikloof Heights was designed in such a way that the feeling of indoor-outdoor living was prominent from almost every space in the house, lending itself to spectacular views. The style of open plan living Is evident throughout the house. The flow of the ground living and entertainment areas blend and combine into each other and create a connectedness throughout house.
The exposed steel beams, glass and stone cladding creates a symphony of textures combined with rusting steel walls and screed floors. The staircase cantilevers out of a massive stone wall with double storey glass to the west protected from the sun by steel louvres and an indigenous tree.
A few steps down you are presented with a choice of either the formal lounge or the informal family and dining room flowing out onto the lanai, while the open plan kitchen and breakfast room are just past the jacuzzi. Another sculpture by Regardt van der Meulen sits on a perch above the family room, staring across the double volume space.
The lanai is a vast space suited to the Highveld lifestyle, incorporating a bar/ barbeque, dining area and lounge, adjacent to the jacuzzi and pool.
The view from the whole house to the north is breath taking, covering the valley down to foot of the hill where Mooikloof Equestrian estate is situated and the whole hill across the extensive garden and the large reflecting pond.
The home was designed by Nico and Werner van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects with interiors by their interior design company, M Square Lifestyle Design. Furniture and accessories were supplied by M Square Lifestyle Necessities.