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Maison Project by Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects

By Eric Meunier


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Cape Town-based studio Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects has completed the Maison project in 2009.

This single family residence is located in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, in Cape Winelands, a region of the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Maison Project by Van Der Merwe Miszewski Architects:

“The Project site (±10 HA) is located in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, between the road into Franschhoek, (the north boundary of the site), and the Berg river (the south boundary of the site).

There were two existing structures on the site; a 1920’s house and a barn dating from ± the 18th century.

The scope of this proposal included the re-utilization of the barn, which is more or less centrally located on the site and is surrounded by several magnificent and ancient Oak trees.

It is intended that the barn and its trees become the focus of a new home, both in the programmatic and structural sense.

The barn itself was repaired and inhabited to form the heart of the home – being the living, dining and cooking spaces. The long facades are covered with verandahs; one open and planted and the other covered over, (in place of an existing lean to structure which was demolished).

Two additional wings of accommodation have been placed adjacent to the barn (at the ‘short ends’) – containing bedrooms, bathrooms etc and creating an enclosed external space – the WERF.

The WERF provides; (in 2 areas, which are separated by a level change, an arbour and a water feature), private open space and motorcar access.

The purpose of the proposal was to retain the barn structure as the significant built form – by keeping the new adjacent structures low, with flat roofs, as well as retaining the existing trees planted many years ago around the barn.

The primary form of the house consists of walls in the landscape – providing both habitable space as well as an ordering device for external farm space. Openings in the walls are punctured and can be closed over by external shutters. Panoramic view windows (also with shutters), are located at the ends of the accommodation wings which look out over the vineyards.

A long pool separates the barn from the vineyards, which together with new paddocks, surround the new house.

The owners collaborated closely with the architects on all aspects of the design, and particularly so with regard to internal fit out and furniture.”

Photos courtesy of Vdmma

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About Eric Meunier

Currently the Owner and Chief Executive of HODYO Design, Eric Meunier's expertise in the design industry spreads over 20 years. He was the driving force behind HomeDSGN's early success, founding this website in 2011. Today, he loves to channel his passion for design into remodeling houses and transforming interior spaces with his keen eye for detail and architectural finesse. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

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