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homify 360°: A stylish eco-house

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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Today on homify 360°, we look at an eco-friendly house in Hyde Park, a suburb outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. The house was designed by Daffonchio & Associates Architects, an award winning firm whose work focuses on environmental impact and the effect that architecture has on its inhabitants. In such a sunny part of the world, temperature control and outdoor living space are vital components of home design. This home in Hyde Park suggests creative solutions in a stylish, modern manner.

A structured horizon

Here we are greeted with the view of the house that faces us when standing on its lush, green yard. The very first impression we get is one of openness and expansiveness. The long, straight lines of the home seem to form a horizon between the yard and the sky, making the building seem perfectly at home in its environment. The use of natural materials such as timber and stone strengthens this effect, while the glass walls present a welcoming facade, inviting us in.

Wonderful walls

As we approach the house, we begin to notice the unique qualities of the walls, whose mixed materials hold a number of secrets. The owners wanted a structure that was easy to change and adapt to their every passing need, and these walls are able to do just that. Each part actually has two layers. The inner layer is a glass wall that can be slid aside like a window, opening up the inside of the house to the great outdoors. Over this, timber shutters can be closed to provide protection from the sun and to add privacy. The floor to ceiling windows allow the inhabitants of the house to blur the line between the interior and the exterior, giving them the opportunity to set their relationships to the outside on a momentary basis. 

The windows also serve a more functional purpose. The house's passive solar design, insulation and natural ventilation make for an eco-friendly temperature control system. In addition, hot water is supplied thorough the use of solar geysers, and the pool is heated using energy from solar mats.

Flexible living space

The customizable walls make for an interior marked by flexible living space. Because of the open plan, each area blends into the next, as well as into the yard, but unique interior design touches help to differentiate the spaces. These  hanging lights, for example, introduce a completely unexpected décor element. Their vintage, almost rococo look is an interesting contrast with the clean, modern look of the rest of the space. Combined with furniture like the transparent chairs and solid timber table, the overall effect is surprisingly eccentric, which helps prevent the house from becoming the modern cube we have seen so many times before. 

The kitchen

The kitchen of the house blends into the rest of the décor, allowing the living space to take centre stage. Here, we again see the combination of the minimal and the eccentric. The main decoration comes from the timber, with its intricate grain patterns and variations of colour provides plenty of visual stimulation. The counter top and walls are kept an unassuming white, in line with the modern, minimalist look. On the back counter, however, we catch a glimpse of four ornate candlestick holders. Again, the accessories add another dimension to the décor, giving the space more texture.

Outdoor living

No view of this house would be complete without a look at the outdoor living spaces. The interior (which, can of course be opened to merge with outside) is surrounded by wide patios, providing even more living space. Here, the home owners have placed a second dining area. This one uses the same clear chairs and a table of darker timber, which matches perfectly with the feature wall in the background. In this home, you have the luxury of eating inside, outside, or inside with the walls open to the air, so that you are never far from nature!

What do you think of this house? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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