This project was an alteration and addition to a house in Houghton designed by Bauhaus architect Douglass Cowin in the 1930's. It is a dramatic example of the Modern movement at the time, and is situated in one of Johannesburg's oldest suburbs.
Daffonchio was tasked with enlarging the house whilst maintaining its integrity, simplicity and functionality. As much as the old house as possible has been retained, and mirrored in the additions. Original elements such as sliding doors, door handles, fireplaces and the red steel pipe on the exterior balcony have been retained.
The house is experienced as a narrative, where it is seen as a sequence of spaces and experiences, thereby threading a story that can also be read in several different directions.
As you arrive, you are greeted by a solid, heavy facade, which is closed and intimidating. As soon as you step inside, the soaring staircase offers an uplifting contrast. The long passage, with a window and the garden at the end, draws you into the cool and calm living areas. From the dining room, a large square window looks out onto an illuminated sheet of water, the pool, to dramatic effect. The new lounge, surrounded by nature and uplifted with light and music, is the most calming room in the house. The new lounge is surrounded by sliding glass doors, with timber louvers which allow maximum sun in winter and minimal sun in summer.
Inside, the owners have kept furniture simple, with a focus on collectable modern art and furniture pieces true to the Modern era and in keeping with the Bauhaus style. The palette is a cool black and white, with parquet flooring stained black to pick up on the original black steel window frames.