An economic, off-the-grid holiday home in the African bush veld, designed for a first-time home builder

2021, Letamo Estate, Mogale City, Krugersdorp, South Africa
Area: 302m²
Project Team: Nadine Clarke, Rory David

Highveld House - contemporary bush veld game lodge floor plan
The Clients Dream

We met a mountaineer and adventurer who was passionate about the African bush and being close to it! To make this dream a reality he purchased a stand in a game farm estate, and elected to build a home with a contemporary bush lodge feel with no frills or fuss. 

The Dream Actualised (Design response)

The house consists of 3 staggered volumes that connect to the exterior. A central living area flows onto a covered patio, where indoor cooking connects to outdoor cooking. Placing the living room in the centre with bedrooms on either side saves area by reducing passage space. Two bedrooms are located to the west of the living space and step forward for privacy. A desk and storage are located in the passage making it more than just a walkway!

The master suite is located to the east of the living space and is set back to create privacy. The master suite flows out onto its own small private porch and features an outdoor shower for the full bush lodge experience!

Cars are parked below a carport, and exterior cupboards offer storage for equipment, services and stuff.

To stay true to the client’s vision we opted to use a limited material palette. A mix of exposed screed, brick and timber delivers honesty and warmth with no fuss and frills.

An interesting challenge was monkey-proofing the house. We opted for a simple solution of placing fixed shutters on certain windows so that they could remain open, rather than the client having to close every window when popping out. 

Off the Grid

As the stand is very large, the municipal power connection cable needed to be especially long which is expensive. Rather than install a long expensive cable the client chose to invest in an off-the-grid power solution. A solar array backed up by a generator will power this home. Hot water generation is by means of a hybrid system of gas and solar geysers.

As we always aim to use passive design principles alongside technology to create sustainable, thermally comfortable homes, that function optimally, this home is no different.

The entire building faces north, and roofs slope down to the north with extended eaves for shading. High-level windows to the south let soft light in while letting heat escape.

We love this bush escape that’s on the city’s doorstep. Who says you can’t have it all? 

Can you see more?

Of course, you can! The clients have opted to make their build a smooth process and have appointed Meik on site. Simply follow us on the socials for updates. 

Ready to escape to the Bush?

If you like what you see and hear and want to work with us on your home feel free to call or email us to set up an appointment to discuss your requirements, and how we can make your dream home come to life.

Nadine: 082 809 1970 || Studio: 011 025 8318 || info@meik.co.za