Residential / St. Francis

The Summer House

Completion : 2018

Contractor : Stephan Gericke

Engineer : Structural Solutions

Photographer : Darren Peens

Situated between the St Francis Canals and the banks of the Kromme River, the client acquired this previously developed site in order to build a large family holiday home for her and her 2 sons and their extended families to enjoy for years to come. The brief was simple- It was to have a resort feel and be “large and watery”! The client and her family are very private so care had to be taken onto the North river facing side as there is also a public road along this edge.

Our response was to create 3 individual buildings linked by a common courtyard and entertainment space. The courtyard offers shelter which in this part of the world is critical, and open plan family living onto the canals. The buildings are reminiscent of 3 stretched out canoes lying upturned on the river bank and allow the views of the River to the North to act as an ever-changing backdrop to activities in the home and courtyard.

The building guidelines in St Francis are very prescriptive and one has to work within this framework- the last few years has seen a move away from clean roof lines with the introduction of concrete box dormers, and on this project we wanted to reintroduce the clean undulating dormers reminiscent of when all the homes had thatch roofs. The use of the shingle as a roof finish also contributed to the clean uninterrupted lines of the roof. The elongated East-West orientation of the home creates sheltered bays and courtyards which the home lives out into. Massive overhangs and aluminium screens help to control Solar Heat Gain on these sides.Together with the natural features and setting, a lap pool and yoga space are other elements that contribute to the healthy lifestyle enjoyed by the client and her family.
The result of all of these factors is a contemporary family holiday home that lends itself to entertaining and living outdoors by creating a sheltered environment to support these activities for generations to come!

Recent Portfolios