Crisscrossing Steel Bars Enriching Modern Residence Design
Located in Midrand, South Africa, and inspired by burglar bars proposed by the owner, this residence boasts a sculptural display of design elements criscrossing the facade. Werner van der Meulen of Nico van der Meulen Architects was the architect who took on the construction of this magnificent residence named the Ber House. Designing the house to showcase a contemporary look and preparing it to mold after the inhabitants’ modern lifestyle, the architect created rectangular shapes intertwining to compose a unitary design with a koi pond surrounding the main living spaces and adding to the feeling of transparency given by extensive use of glass.
Four suites, alongside a welcoming, open living zone shape the main body of the building. The owner enjoys working from home, so a large study space was necessary to make him comfortable during business hours. Architects describe a dynamic design seen while moving through the residence: “From the porte cochere one walks over the koi pond to the front door, looking through the hall, dining room and family room at the pool on the north side. The koi pond filled with mature koi surrounds the dining room on two sides. Broken slabs of granite with steel sheets over acts as steps between the dining room and hall to the family room and kitchen. A cantilevered staircase jut out of a granite clad wall, with an illuminated handrail cut into the wall.The kitchen is enclosed by frameless doors, and opens up to the lanai and the east, facing the garden. A steel grating balcony to the main bathroom on the north-east corner protects the kitchen from too much morning sun. The study faces north and east, with the east side facing the lanai across the pool. A bridge crosses over the living room, connecting the pyjama lounge and kid’s bedrooms with the main suite.”