A contemporary courtyard home, geared for both entertainment and privacy

2015, Monaghan Farm, Lanseria, Pretoria, South Africa
Area: 649 m²
Project Team: Nadine Clarke, Deandra Farinha

MM Residence Floor plan of contemporary residence with entertainment areas, courtyards and privacy screens
The Clients Dream

These first-time home builders, referred to meik by friends were setting out to build their forever home – no pressure! We were briefed to create a home suited to entertainment, with maximised views but which also provided guest accommodation, a home office, staff quarters and private spaces for sanctuary from a busy schedule.

The Dream Actualised (Design response)

The stand offered extensive views to the east with a panhandle on the northern boundary. To meik, optimum orientation is one of our key design principles, so having a panhandle vehicle access on the north boundary posed an interesting challenge! We have a blog that explains the importance of orientation, you can read it here. (Why North?)

Investigation of the town planning scheme revealed that the panhandle was a common servitude which meant that we could use it too. This is an important design consideration as vehicles present noise and light interruption, and should be placed closer to more public functions and kept as far away as possible from bedrooms. Being able to use the panhandle for vehicular access meant we could place all vehicles on one side of the property. Resulting in the implementation of a privacy gradient, placing the most public spaces to the north of the site and the most private spaces to the south of the site.

To achieve this, the plan layout consists of a series of courtyards separated by large stone walls demarcating the hierarchy from public to more private family spaces.

The first most public courtyard comprises the driveway access, the carport, a lobby, a guest suite and the home office.  The next, semipublic courtyard is the entertainment courtyard.  Here, a formal dining room, bar and formal lounge open onto a generous patio, boma and pool deck. The cherry on top is a roof terrace situated on the roof above the bar and formal lounge!

At the heart of the home, the more private spaces start with a kitchen and TV lounge. The space is set back from the entertainment areas allowing privacy and north sun to enter via a courtyard that is created by the setback between the rooms.

Private staff accommodation is tucked neatly behind the kitchen for optimum orientation and privacy.

The most private bedroom wing, consisting of a gym and 3 private bedroom suites, is accessed from the kitchen and is at a higher level to accommodate the fall of the land and offer additional privacy. All bedrooms are en suite and open onto a private lawned courtyard. The master suite is at the most private end of the home and is terminated by a large stone wall.

“But is it green”, you ask?

At meik, we employ passive design principles alongside technology to create sustainable, thermally comfortable homes that function optimally. It’s a fundamental design principle within the practice.

In this home, courtyards allow optimised north and eastern orientation. They also allow for openings on more than one side of a room enabling cross ventilation – another great passive design principle.

Along with optimised orientation, insulation is key to reducing those heating and cooling bills and has a relatively low cost point. This home features insulation below the floor slab, cavity walls, double glazing and insulated roof slabs. The roof surface is also light in colour to reflect heat.

Those things popping out of the roof are high-level dormer windows which let light into deep spaces, reducing the need to use lights during the day. In addition, they allow hot air to dissipate at the highest point of the roof.

Hot water generation is through a combination of solar and gas geysers. We have blogs that explain our thoughts on hot water generation – here are some links: Gas geysers and solar geysers.

PV panels hidden on the roof slab generate electricity that powers the home. Rainwater is harvested by means of a ‘wet’ system for use within the house, and space heating is by means of optimised orientation, good insulation and fireplaces.

With power and water supply taken care of, service delivery woes are not going to hamper any parties for these homeowners!

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 and the design of interior items by Mint (Meik Interiors).

Excited yet?

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


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