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Nico van der Meulen Architects

Nico van der Meulen Architects

Johannesburg, ZA

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House Ferndale

Nico van der Meulen, founder of Nico van der Meulen Architects, designed this residence in a leafy Johannesburg suburb for his family in 1988, but also to use as his studio. At that time he had just started his own practice and decided to work from his home, specializing in the design of up-market  residences.

Nico always believed in passive design and designed the house facing 15 degrees east of north, with thick 660mm north facing walls, to firstly create mass to store heat and secondly sun control.   Clay tiles were used over the concrete roofs to create insulation, and protect the waterproofing against the Highveld sun.

Five atria were incorporated into the design, with an existing deciduous tree retained in the one atrium to act as an umbrella over the house and large water feature to help cool the house in summer.   In another atrium a fast growing palm tree indigenous to South Africa was planted, with ground-covers to act as a natural cooling agent, and black bamboo screens in two of the other atria.

The open plan living area incorporates a double volume family room with a water feature leading onto the lanai and an over sized pool. 

Situated between the kitchen, family room, reading  nook and lanai, the breakfast/dining room acts as the pivot for this area.  The north wall as well as the walls between the dining room/family room and lanai are folding frameless glass doors to open the whole area.

The main bathroom is north and east facing, getting the morning and winter sun.   A large balcony to the main bedroom allow outdoor living directly from the main suit.

A studio space over the main bedroom, gymnasium and dressing room provide a creative space for his wife to paint, leading onto a studio where Nico works at night and weekends. Both of these studios lead out to expansive balconies.

 
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Status: Built
Location: Ferndale, Randburg, South Africa.
Firm Role: Architects, interior designers, interior decorators
Additional Credits: MSquare Lifestyle Design.

 
Streettview
Streettview
Streetview
Streetview
North view
North view
Entrance, reading nook in background.
Entrance, reading nook in background.
Pool area
Pool area
Reading nook
Reading nook
Reading nook, atrium in background.
Reading nook, atrium in background.
Family room
Family room
Lanai
Lanai
Lanai
Lanai
Lanai
Lanai
Dining, kitchen
Dining, kitchen
Dining
Dining
Kitchen and dining.
Kitchen and dining.
Kitchen.
Kitchen.
Atrium in the middle of the house with waterfeature
Atrium in the middle of the house with waterfeature
Same atrium seen from the house
Same atrium seen from the house
Main suite
Main suite
Main suite
Main suite
Main bathroom
Main bathroom
Main bathroom
Main bathroom
Painting studio
Painting studio
Architectural studio
Architectural studio