Skip to content

House Schalkwyk/Drawbox Design Studio Architects

At one with nature, a stunning home in Pretoria, South Africa, rests carefully within its environment and provides exceptional opportunities to experience its magic. Elevated and meandering through the woods, it was designed not to disturb important trees and to meld into its surroundings. The building was designed to, not only, disappear in the forest, but to reflect it in the windows thereby duplicating the perceived forest density. The “exoskeleton” is a series of vertical steel sections that not only facilitates this directional transition but also carries the roof. The lightness, color, and repetition of this element provide a textured surface that fragments the monolith and camouflages the structure. The building form was informed, among other factors, by the position of the trees as mentioned above as well as the topography. The vertical planes of the facade are angled to replicate the exact contours of the site at the position where the spaces are positioned, and the roof was placed along these edges. The curved corners of the pods on the plan reduce an abrupt change in directionality and soften the threshold between structure and forest.