When taking a road less travelled in the African Midlands, there can’t be a soul who doesn’t play with the idea of “I could live here”. The Balgowan area is rich with South African history and sits between a stunning lake and forest. The ten homes, which form the Reeds community, called for environmentally responsive, energy efficient homes in sync with the land and its natural resources.
Embedded into the landscape, the house fits in to the contours of the land and uses the steady temperature of the earth for passive heating and cooling. The living room and kitchen areas open up onto the viewing deck, which affectionately came to be known as the sun-trap.
Life at the Reeds is pure and uncomplicated. Of course, this doesn’t preclude extreme comfort, luxury and privilege. “Simplicity is more a reference to pure, uncomplicated pursuits, such as fishing, bird watching, hiking and just watching and feeling the slow, unmistakable change of the seasons.”
The home is a fresh expression of the regional architecture, comprised of layers of stone and concrete walls that traditionally define the transition from the public to more private areas of the home. Visually, these thick earthen walls together with their interconnected roofs and heavy wooden beams, echo the shape of the landforms on which they are built.