The idiom stating that something is 'copper-bottomed' means that the object in question is thoroughly reliable, and sure not to fail. This is certainly a character of the spectacular project we get to see today, but as we go along, we will also explore the more literal meaning of the phrase.
We are very excited that we have the opportunity to showcase so many South African projects lately, and we have no intention of stopping any time soon. Today we will take a look at another house by Meulen Architects, based in Johannesburg. The House Brian, the star of the show, is situated in Morningside—that bustling commercial and residential suburb of the big city. Join us to inspect the many meanings of this proudly South African copper home!
Our introduction to the House Brian is nothing less than impressive. The large structure consists of two volumes, which are divided into various cubes and rectangles, such as the trend in contemporary architecture. This creates a sense of dynamic movement accross the structure, which is characteristic of modern buildings.
The lighting scheme here on the exterior of the building also contributes to its impressive appearance, creating mysterious shadows and an imposing play on light and darkness. Altogether, this outward appearance of the house looks very private and aloof. Like a castle or fortress—you can see that it is a place of great elegance and taste, but it sheltered from public view.
The interior design of the project was undertaken by M Square Lifestyle Design, and the goal was to do it in a subtle, tasteful and classical manner as to underscore the beauty of the architectural project. The result is a composition making use of a small set of rich, yet sophisticated materials to create a supremely elegant interior space. Take for example the travertine used for the flooring and walls. This light-coloured stone is classy and unimposing at the same time.
The main feature in this space is undoubtedly the copper lamps hanging from the ceiling. These stunning fixtures dazzle in their simple, mineral beauty. The arrangement of the lamps across the living space also creates a beguiling sense of rhythm which leads the onlooker's eye across the room. Other than this, the decorative features are rather toned-down and tasteful, so we can see why the copper focus had to be so eye-catching.
Now let's take a little look at the division of space inside the home. The House Brian had been a 1970's style house which was now transformed into this modernist villa. This included the removal of interior walls to create this very generous central living space. The atrium is surrounded by glass, such as we can see here facing the garden. This gives a great sense of transparency to the home, and fills all of the areas with rich, natural light.
Here we can also see how the house open ups onto a generous, 13x6 meter lanai area. A lanai is a roofed, open-sided veranda, and has its origins in Hawaii. The glass doors that separate this space from the interiors can be entirely opened, creating a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. On the porch itself we can see comfortable and luxurious furniture, continuing the elegant theme of the interior.
Now let's take a step back from the general kitchen area and move towards the culinary section of the home. Here we can see the larger kitchen area. The kitchen was designed to be the hub of the home, and we can see this practically by the large open space around it, ideal for social gatherings.
The cabinetry in the kitchen consists of dark wood and sleek glass, amalgamating into the perfect modern material set. The richness of the wood is also transformed into a focal point by its contrast to the light colour of the travertine flooring.
Next to the kitchen is a small breakfast room adjacent to the atrium. This receives ample natural light, and is the perfect spot at which to enjoy your morning coffee and catch up on the day’s most important news stories.
Next we will go up to the top floor of the home, but we won't get caught up in the bedrooms, else we might not want to leave! Instead, we thought it would be a crime to miss the stunning master bathroom.
This room is adjacent to the master bedroom, and shares the balcony on which both the rooms look out upon. The entire space is surrounded by glass, so you will have a panoramic view of the natural surrounds and the garden when you bathe or go about your grooming routine.
The finishes in the bathroom largely resemble the furnishing and decoration of the rest of the home—subtle and sophisticated. This perfect integration of modern elements with nature around it, makes for the ideal embodiment of modern luxury.
Lastly, as a final adieu to this magnificent home, we will walk back outside, at the rear this time, and take a last look at the building. The original structure was north-facing, so things were already set up pretty well. This means that the garden surrounding the home had already been well-established, creating a great sense of privacy, ideal for the master and guest bedrooms to lead out into by means of a larger-than-life balcony.
Here we can also see the large swimming pool which graces the garden, and it is perfectly situated right next to the lanai area with comfortable outdoor furniture. This means endless pool parties—surely the best on the block—where guests can converse with each other from pool to porch and enjoy all of the home's features.
For another house with an exceptional pool area, take a look at: A house where the party never ends.