An extensive renovation to an existing modernist gem in the heart of Johannesburg, resulting in an entertainer’s dream set in a large garden

2021, Bryanston, Johannesburg, South Africa
Area: 993m²
Project Team: Nadine Clarke, Rory David

Kent Road Reno Floor Plan


The Clients Dream

Having renovated this client’s previous home, we were contacted when they found a fixer-upper on a large stand with a beautiful garden and wanted to know if we thought it had potential. We found an amazing modernist gem with loads of potential.

Once we started the design process, we aimed to retain the house’s original modernist design language and, thankfully, the client granted us creative freedom to achieve their required brief. What ensued became a major renovation that focused on orientation, lifestyle and connection to the garden. 

The Dream Actualised (Design response)

The existing main house was retained and reconfigured, while new wings were added to the east and west to meet the accommodation requirements. The result is an undulating, linear, north-facing home that opens onto the garden.

A new guard house and porte-cochere greet guests upon arrival and lead to a new extra-height lobby.  The lobby acts as the link between new and existing spaces. It connects a new kitchen, TV lounge and playroom to the formal dining room and lounge, located in the reconfigured existing living spaces. A generous patio addition connects the TV lounge to the formal reception rooms via the exterior, allowing all reception paces to flow out for easy entertaining and indoor-outdoor living.

A new smaller, square pool was designed within the existing 70’s style pool and connected to the living spaces by a generous pavilion-style staircase. A new pool house was erected to house a catering kitchen, lounge and an additional guest suite.

The existing carport was replaced by a new landscape courtyard adjacent to the lobby. The kitchen became a new home office with separate exterior access via this courtyard. The courtyard also offers a private external space for the home office.

The existing bedroom wing was reconfigured to provide a home study and two en suite bedrooms. A new generous master suite was added to the west and is separated from the bedrooms via a small courtyard. The courtyard provides light and privacy to the master suite which consists of a luggage store, a walk-in dressing room, an en suite bathroom, a bedroom and a lounge that opens onto a private porch.

A first-floor addition above the new kitchen houses a hotel-style guest suite, with a wonderful vista over the garden from its generous balcony.

Staff accommodation is tucked in behind the new double garage. 

But is this reno as green as the garden?

When renovating, our ideal is to re-use as much of the structure as we can alongside passive design principles like orientation, passive ventilation etc. This reno successfully re-uses 90% of the building’s shell.

All new additions are optimally orientated and as per best practice, the building envelope is well insulated. New insulation has been added to existing roofs along with new double-glazed fenestration throughout to ensure compliance to code.

In addition, the house will get a solar array of PV to generate power and hot water generation is by means of a combination of gas and solar geysers.

We loved working with these clients on their reno and are thrilled at how this modern gem has been updated into a modern villa, that’s going to be a much-loved home. 

Ready to renovate?

If you like what you see and hear and want to work with us on your renovation 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