houses

August House of the Month

The Westcliff pavilion, designed by Silvio Rech Lesley Carstens Architecture and Interiors, is set on what is essentially a rocky highveld koppie. The owners wanted a place, separate from their house, where they could relax and entertain, and where guests or visiting family members could stay. Silvio and Lesley took the natural setting as the starting point of the design. They decided to open the pavilion to the changing natural scene and stripped its form down to a simple glass box. Silvio and Lesley juxtaposed the form with elements of what they call 'rustic materiality'. "It's like a pure modernist building, but instead of concrete, we've used railway sleepers," explains Silvio. "The owners didn't want it to look like a new building. They wanted it to feel warm and to look old and weathered." Perhaps the most striking feature of the house is the rammed earth wall that runs its length, plunging into the indoor pool and re-emerging downstairs. "We tried to marry the glass box and the rammed earth using primal elements in a modern way," says Silvio. The rusted metal of the outside wall and gate, the rock, the rammed earth, the water of the indoor pool, the fireplaces and the ironwood sleepers all display the materials in their natural state, but take on a sleek minimalism in their design. To read more about our magnificent August House of the Month, be sure to pick up a copy of our luxury issue, and turn to page 48 for more insider snippets and inspiring images...