Digging up the most exciting architectural projects around the world is what we love to do here at homify, but when we find great ones in our very own South Africa, we are doubly excited about it. Today on homify 360°, we bring you just such a project, and we have no doubt that you will love it as much as we do!
Coming to us from the outskirts of Bloemfontein, Free State, we found a home (with some effort) amongst a forest of trees. Now, don't get the wrong idea, this is no forgotten and dilapidated house in the woods. No, this house was commissioned to be built around the trees! As part of the development of Oubos Echo Estate, Smit Architects were enrolled to build a house that will pay homage to the indigenous vegetation around, as well as respect the wildlife to the highest degree. The result, we are sure you will agree, is dreamy home amongst the trees that is sure to inspire eco-activists and romantics alike.
Does this idea tickle your fancy? Well join us on a visual trip to Bloemfontein and a tour around the beautiful Boshuis!
In this image, we get our first glimpse of the house under our inspection today. Seen here from a vantage point behind some trees, we can already discern how this home is suited to its environment and blends in amongst the ample wood around it.
The owners who commissioned the construction of this house required a solution to preserve the age-old indigenous trees on the property, and literally required an architect who could plan and build the structure around the trees. This seems like a difficult and strange way to go about things, but as we can all see, it had been utterly successful.
The copper used in the facade, as we can see here on the upper level of the home, is intended to green over time and eventually blending in entirely with it surroundings. What an unique and thrilling idea!
Now if we move around to the front of the home, we can see that this side is still entirely covered with trees as well. We sure weren't joking when we said that the house was built around the already existing trees, and as you can see from this image, great effort was expended in drafting the right design for the space.
On this side of the house, we can also see more panels of copper, which will turn to the colour of its surroundings over time. The structure of the house itself is concrete, and a distinctly modern, cubic design had been employed.
We can also see the ample use of cubic and rectangular window panes, which ensures ample forest light to enter the home, and a strong dialogue between the interior and nature.
Now, let us move on towards the interior of the home. That being said, it seems as if the line between interior and exterior becomes a little blurred in this house, which was exactly the idea!
In this image we can see a portion of the living room, at the back of which large glass doors open up onto the porch and the dense forest beyond. The preservation of the trees on the land had been an environmentally responsible act, but it also serves the purpose of maintaining privacy for the residents inside the home. The dense foliage we see here will ensure that inhabitants can connect with nature without fear of being exposed to prying eyes.
The interior furnishing and decoration of the house is in a warm and rustic style—well suited to its location. The leather couches and wooden accents combine to create a serene atmosphere suited to its natural counterpart on the outside.
Moving on to a more intimate space in the home - bathroom. Here we find a sense of colour and liveliness. The majority of the home is rather earthy and this is well-suited to the character of the house and its environment. Here, however, the designers had a chance to play a little, and the result is a charming and uplifting bathroom space.
Lastly, we take a turn on the back porch of the house. This space is situated on an elevated wooden deck, allowing for unhindered views across the forest. We can see here how the trees had been preserved to such a great extent, they even make their way through the deck itself.
At the back of the porch, we can see a series of large, fold-away doors that connect the porch to the interior of the home. These doors can open up entirely to expose the inhabitants to the beauty of nature surrounding them, and diffuse the boundaries between nature and modern life.
This is definitely a forest home that we could get on board with! Whether it's aesthetic style or environmental awareness, this home ticks all of the boxes. For another tree-surrounded masterpiece, take a look at this: Jaw-dropping home hidden in the forest!