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The transformation of an old Mossel Bay home

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie
House Harteveld by Coetzee Alberts Architects
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A before and after project is always exciting. Not only because you get to see the full potential of a place realised in ways you didn't think possible, but also because you may get some ideas for your own home's improvement and renewal. Such projects are even more exciting when it's local, so that you can see what works with the architectural style and locally available materials.

Therefore, we bring you another great South African feature today that is sure to get the inspiration levels up to high and the creativity flowing. The House Hartveld is a remarkable building that has been renovated by Coetzee Alberts Architects, based Mossel Bay. 

Should you join us for a tour of the project, you are sure to find that an unusual building is well worth investing in if you can give it right care and attention in the renovation. This was certainly the case here. 

Before: Much work ahead

The brief for this before and after project included two very important requirements. The first of this is that the newly renovated structure should optimise ocean views, ensuring a panoramic scope for all the rooms. This will certainly require a fair amount of outdoor living area, such as in terms of balconies or porches. 

Secondly, the design of the new house should minimise the road traffic noise experienced by inhabitants to the greatest extent possible. So, essentially, the architects had to find a way t privatise the home from the street, but open it up wide to the side of the ocean. 

After: A brief realised

Firstly, the additions to this side of the home included expansive balconies all round to make the most of the northern exposure towards the sea. Floor to ceiling windows and doors also ensure unhindered views for the inhabitants and for the rooms of the house to be filled with natural light as long and often as possible.  

To fulfill the requirement of minimizing road traffic noise, the architects decided to make the main feature of the building the side facing the ocean and picturesque Outeniqua Mountains. The property is situated along the main road into the Mossel Bay CBD, and therefore some creativity was needed in cutting off noise emanating from it. An angled, high boundary wall (which we can see only the tip of here) was placed on the road's side to numb the noise pollution. 

Before: Potential and heritage

Now, the homeowners very much appreciated the original building situated on the property, and wanted to keep at least some of it in tact in the finished structure. As we can see here, the building had beautiful features in the old Cape Dutch or Colonial style prevalent throughout the older towns of the Western Cape. The distinct high, ornamented roof and the stone slabs at the base of the building just fill us with nostalgia looking at it!

It would, however, take some planning and creative consideration to figure out a way to incorporate these features of heritage with a modern home design

After: Optimising the structure

It was clearly a priority of the architects to create a sense of clarity and order between the existing building and the modern additions we can see here. They decided to use a different architectural language in the new design, yet one which pays tribute to and does not overwhelm the original. 

A quiet and neutral palette of colours and materials was chosen for the design of the additions to the original structure, and this creates a harmony throughout the building whilst also emphasising the distinction of historical vs contemporary. 

A view on things

Before we head out from this home, we wanted to take a step out on those generous balconies to see what it all looks like. We think you'll definitely agree that there is no disappointment here! We can spend hours just letting our eyes roll over this panoramic landscape. No wonder the homeowners made a northern exposure and sea views their priority!

This home renovation was a clean and simple change, going to show that you don't need much when you plan well. It definitely makes us very positive about South African architecture! If you need more convincing, however, take a look at another: South African home which is simple but stunning

What are your thoughts on this historical and contemporary structure?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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