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Kerala Farm

General information

Project name: Kerala Farm

Architecture firm: KLG Architects


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Firm location: Cape Town, South Africa

Completion year: 2017

Gross built area: m2

Project location: Kerala Farm, Bainskloof Pass, Worcester, Western Cape -

Lead architects: Bridget Martyn

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Photo credits: Dave Southwood

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Additional credits

Clients: Paddock Family

Engineering: Karl Hvidsten

Construction: DGM Construction Landscaping: Oasis Design

Project description

KLG Architects, based in Cape Town, South Africa, specializes in educational, residential and hospitality architecture. Its design process is iterative, driven by explorative hand-drawn sketches, drawings and team discussions. The firm has a diverse knowledge of construction and building techniques, which it applies carefully in its site explorations and considerations of the social and environmental impact of the building.'

The Kerala Farm project is located in the Bainskloof valley, an area characterised by its mountainous rocky landscape. The existing homestead was to be altered to suit the new owner’s lifestyle whilst taking cognizance of the splendid surrounds.

This translated to extending wings off of the existing square plan-courtyard house.

On the South side of the house, a new en-suite bedroom wing was added. The addition stretches and floats over the local flora whilst looking out onto spectacular private mountain views. The addition draws from the existing building with its use of monolithic stone walls whilst distinguishing its contemporary identity in the design’s simple form and box-like appearance.

On the north side of the project a new external living room typology was added.

The room is characterised by a large monolithic stone wall which was inserted into the landscape becoming a spine for the new lifestyle-wing to form off of.

Heavy timber sections stretch from the wall transitioning the space towards the lawn and pool. The design creates a series of dappled shaded spaces, essential for the harsh sun conditions of the area.

The heavy materiality chosen balances the design with the scale of the site’s mountainous landscape and creates a harmonious relationship between the built and the natural surrounds. Glass sliding doors, simple forms and sophisticated details transform the traditional materiality into a timeless contemporary design.

Further north of the site lies the old ‘Kraal’ building originally used to enclose cattle in when the traditional farm was operating. The owners decided to transform the space into a separate accommodation unit to hold overflow guests from the main house. Careful design was executed to transform the space whilst still honouring the existing character of the ‘Kraal’. Textured plaster and natural materials characterise the space. Simple contemporary forms and axils with seamless glass openings once again give the design a contemporary edge whilst attributing the area’s surrounds.

On the other end of the linear garden path, a wood burning hot-tub re-iterates the plan’s axil focal point and creates a unique and harmonised experience in the breath-taking landscape.

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