Fresnaye 1

This project posed a specific design challenge inherent in the brief. The original property consisted of an existing house that had been incrementally extended over time to meet the former owner’s changing needs. The result was that while the original homestead remained visible, the extensions were ramshackle and ad hoc.
Our clients wanted to add to and/or renovate the home to meet the specific needs of their family, 2 parents and their 3 children.
The original homestead boasted some original features of the ‘Cape Dutch’ vernacular in the form of two prominent gables as well as some fine interior detailing. It was decided that we would retain as much of the original structure as possible, demolish the ad hoc extensions and redesign an extension to the original, to house the family’s full brief.

The design question in these situations is always: Does the extension attempt to replicate or mimic the original to create a ‘seamless’ connection, or is the architectural language made deliberately different to allow the original features of the homestead to stand alone.

We opted for the latter approach.

The ‘original’ structure was restored and remodelled and a new, contemporary extension, painted almost black, was built alongside. The two opposing forms are connected via a glass enclosed entrance hall, staircase and bridge.

The result is a striking contrast between old and new, showcasing the beauty of the original while placing the house firmly in the context of today’s contemporary living.