About the project
House Ber, Midrand is a contemporary glass and steel house by Nico van der Meulen Architects and was inspired by the estate guidelines, which forbid the use of burglar bars. Toying with the idea of protecting a house that is already secure led to the exploration of large cantilevered boxes enclosed by black steel bars.
Located in South Arica, this private home is rectangular in form; basically a steel-framed building with the design centred around the living room, water features and covered patio areas. The double volume space embraces the open plan of this home, while the bold steel bars create the visual interest. A steel bridge spans across the double volume area, between the dining room and lounge.
The steel sculptures by Regardt van der Meulen pick up on the structural steel used for the construction. Parking under the porte-cochere and stepping up towards the front door, which is discreetly located in a frameless glass wall, guests will find themselves standing on a granite podium elevated above the water feature and looking through the house at the pool on the north side.
The frameless glass doors of the kitchen and family open these rooms totally to the north, onto the lanai and pool; and the kitchen to the eastern part of the garden. The large study, on the other hand, opens directly onto the pool and the garden and the dining room floats over the extensive koi-pond.
The asymmetrical stairs between the split levels of the entrance, dining and living spaces are split-face granite slabs. The stair areas are covered with steel sheets and lit with LED lights under the steel, while the granite-clad main staircase juts out of the double volume wall at the entrance.
Unimposing and nearly invisible, the frameless folding glass doors seamlessly separate the interior from the exterior combining the indoor and outdoor environments. The double-volume, north-facing glass, with carefully designed sun-control elements, keep the house warm in winter, while no sun penetrates the house during the warmer months. All the habitable rooms in the house are north facing with full glass walls to the north and carefully designed sun control.
A steel bridge, across the double volume areas, link the main suite with the kid’s rooms while allowing views into the rooms below and the garden beyond. The main suite is an expansive space with its own fireplace, leading onto a balcony overlooking the pool. The bathroom has large high-level windows to the east and the north wall is floor to ceiling sliding doors, bathing the bathroom in the north sun in winter.
Three more ample suites and a 4-car garage complete the picture. The designer, M Square Lifestyle Design, continued the idea of random connectedness throughout the interiors ensuring this theme was translated into every space and detail. Materials utilized were granite, marble, steel and glass. The house was styled with European furniture pieces and lighting.