When the new owner of a grand old manor house near Prince Albert in the Karoo first bought the property, he faced a number of challenges, one of which was the mansion’s rigid separation from its beautiful surroundings.
‘In all her beauty, Opstal [the manor house’s name] still embodied an icy Victorian attitude of unapproachability as she sat perched on top of the landscape,’ says Mode Design Studio architect Janet Lauder of the Prince Albert house. It was necessary to bring the old lady down to earth.
The architects did it by building up her surroundings. ‘At multiple entrances we used varied levels of decking that terminated into the landscape. This helped to bridge the height difference between the ground level and entrances to the house. Endemic planted steps also begin to blur the boundaries of the house and allow it to meld into its surroundings,’ she explains.
This focused renovation idea comes out of Reader Renovation #1 in our 2016 Before & After issue. By voting for this reno or any of the others featured, you stand a chance to win a range of amazing prizes. You can vote and win here.