Slee & Co Architects (Pty) Ltd
Situated on a farm in Namibia a veranda house is created using a wall with a folded cantilever roof creating shaded spaces from which to take in uninterrupted views of the savannah grass veld landscape.
Raised from the soil the wall organizes the building into private and public spaces. Sheltered under the roof are cellular private spaces self-sufficient with each sleeping area having its bathroom. The lounge / dining room is located to the north and opens out onto a large shaded stoep that hovers above the sandy ground. Sliding doors slide into thick walls blurring the inside and outside. This is however less successful with the private spaces where door frames evoke an unwanted domesticity in such a setting.
The overall result is an angular geometry that can be unsettling in the undulating landscape it sits in. Nevertheless, the architect’s use of materials counters this by making the moment between landscape and building more subtle. This is achieved by using red sand from the area in the cement mix to plaster walls. Horizontal textures are raked into the plaster to create a visual continuity with the vast landscape while corrugated roof sheets reference farm buildings.
Despite some flaws all is forgiven when one is inspired by the razor-sharp veranda roof that defies gravity. This is achieved with a slender post barely visible. A joyous moment when man tames nature and architecture reveals necessary concessions between him and the land he lives on.
Architectural Firm: Slee & Co. Architects, Stellenbosch
Principal Architect: Johann Slee, Elske van der Merwe
Principal Agent: Slee & Co. Architects
Project Architect: Yvonne Onderweegs, Elske van der Merwe
Builder: Baucon Construction
Structural Engineer: DG Consulting Engineers – Beyers Balt