Video Tour: Paradise Regained
Philippe van der Merwe of Tonic Design – who created this home’s crisply contemporary interiors – calls the setting of the house ‘a Joburger’s paradise’. It’s a Randlord mansion originally built in 1910 for mining magnate Alfred Beit’s Central Mining and Investment Corporation, set majestically on Parktown Ridge. As a result, it exemplifies old Joburg, with sweeping lawns and a terraced garden that afford beautiful views over Johannesburg Zoo and beyond.
While the abode has a fine pedigree, Van der Merwe’s task as interior designer was very much to reinterpret its features, working closely with the modern, tech-savvy, design-forward family who had moved in. Van der Merwe had worked on the interiors of their previous home, which was an LA-inspired Mid-Century Modernist gem, perhaps more party pad than family home. Their move into heritage territory was not by any stretch about finding instant design solutions. It became a gradual and considered process with a brief that evolved over several years. Their approach was very much about preserving the home’s historical character while finding a way to ‘live in a contemporary way’ and allowing it to ‘feel light and airy’ so that it would find new relevance and vitality.
The clean minimalism of the interiors ends up enhancing the building’s features, contrasting with them rather than competing.
Explore more of the home's contemporary interior in House and Leisure's December #HLMyJoburg issue.