Schalkwyk House/Drawbox Design Studio Architects

In harmony with nature, a stunning home in Pretoria, South Africa rests carefully in its surroundings and offers exceptional opportunities to experience its magic. Raised and winding through the woods, it was designed not to disturb the prominent trees and to blend into its surroundings. The building was designed not only to disappear into the forest, but also to reflect it in the windows, thus replicating the perceived density of the forest. The “exoskeleton” is a series of vertical steel sections that not only facilitate this directional transition, but also support the roof. The lightness, color and repetition of this element provide a textured surface that fragments the monolith and camouflages the structure. The shape of the building was influenced, among other factors, by the position of the trees as mentioned above as well as the topography. The vertical planes of the facade are sloped to reproduce the exact contours of the site where the spaces are positioned, and the roof has been placed along these edges. The curved corners of the pods on the plane reduce a sudden change in direction and soften the threshold between the structure and the forest.


Joseph E. Golightly