A contemporary farmstyle homestead, designed for a subtropical climate while maximising privacy and views on a residential estate with rolling hills

2021, Springvale Estate, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
Area: 845m²
Project Team: Nadine Clarke, Deandra Farinha

Springvale Floor Plan

The Clients Dream

With the ability to work remotely becoming a reality, these first-time homebuilders were looking to semi-grate to enjoy a more relaxed coastal lifestyle with their young children. Having secured a plot in an estate on the KZN north coast Meik was briefed to design a family home that could accommodate work and play as well as a multigenerational family!


The Dream Actualised (Design response)

Visiting the site, we found a steep site sloping down to the west towards a wonderful lush green valley with street access from the east. While not ideally orientated, the green belt offered a wonderful view and we agreed with the client that it needed to be maximised.

How did we achieve the dream?

In order to accommodate multiple generations in one dwelling, the accommodation was separated into the ‘house’ and an ‘outbuilding’.

The house contains accommodation for the immediate family while the outbuilding contains two separate flatlets for the couple’s parents. The outbuilding also houses a shared laundry space, garages and a covered entrance that acts as the connection between the buildings.

The eastern street boundary was the logical placement for the outbuilding. Garages were placed on the southwest end to connect to the kitchen, and flatlets were placed on the north end. This allowed for good orientation and private garden spaces

The expressed entrance created by a dormer roof form creates a sense of arrival, and separates the flatlets from the garages while linking the ‘outbuilding’ and the ‘family home’.  A courtyard between the two buildings creates a division of spaces and also acts as a green lung.

The family home followed a U- shaped layout to optimise the north orientation for bedrooms and living areas and to create a level courtyard for play. A lobby, guest toilet, home office, guest en suite and library walkway (to display a large book collection) connect the two north-facing wings.

A large wrap-around veranda connects the living areas to the play courtyard as well as each other. It provides much-needed shading from the climate, and a fabulous way to live! The veranda is fitted with louvred weather shutters to screen from the sun and prevailing winds.

Finally, taking advantage of the slope, a basement below the living area houses a “man cave” that provides a virtual golf range, home cinema, gym, and bar, sure to be the envy of any man.


Is it as green as its subtropical environment?

We’re glad you’ve asked. Sustainability is a core design driver at Meik and we always aim to use passive design principles alongside technology to create sustainable, thermally comfortable homes, that function optimally.

The most important passive principle one can apply is orientation. As per our explanation above we’ve worked hard to achieve the best possible orientation so that living spaces and bedrooms are north facing.

The deep veranda to the living area accommodates indoor-outdoor living but also aids in regulating the temperature. Covered verandas and pergolas have been used extensively throughout the rest of the building for shading.

Cross ventilation is achieved in multiple rooms by having openings on opposite sides of the rooms. Deep window reveals, with tall slot windows have been designed on the west-facing library walkway to reduce heat gain. 

Weather shutters have been used in multiple areas for shading and as wind protection elements. 

PV panels generate power, and hot water generation is by means of solar and gas geysers.


Thinking of Semi grating?

If you are thinking of semi-grating to the north coast chat with us about how we can assist you through our network. Or if you just 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.

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