MONOCHROME HOUSE

Perched high above a horseshoe of the Knysna River with no immediate neighbours and uninterrupted views north towards the Outeniqua Mountains, this site provided a wonderful opportunity to create a dramatic home for the professional photographer owners. The brief was to create a home with strong graphic lines that takes advantage of the natural characteristics of the location.

An irregularly shaped site with angled boundary lines gave rise to the wrap around pool of the outdoor living areas, and large cavity sliding doors open the internal living spaces to seamlessly integrate outdoor living into the use of the home. The double volume lounge and mezzanine area connects the lower level to the study work spaces above, ensuring seamless spatial relationships and providing skyward looking glimpses of the dramatic skies beyond.
The main bedroom suite and studies suspend delicately over the lower living areas, creating a dynamic relationship with both the spaces below as well as the expansive views beyond. Secondary bedroom suites for guests are sized and positioned for functionality and respective privacy.
The focus of the approach to the home is a large “photographic frame” that draws one towards the entrance, and sets the tone for the rest of the experience. The narrow entrance hallway with mezzanine above, creates a gallery to be enjoyed while moving through the space. While the pristine and monochromatic interiors provide an ideal backdrop for displaying select pieces from the owners own photographic works, and complement the bold lines of the external architecture.
A sunken fire-pit seating area creates an opportunity for enjoying poolside sunsets. And built-in roof-top benches, surrounded by planted roofs, affords an opportunity to warm up in the morning light. The triangulated viewing bow of the west façade additionally adds to the variety of possible multi-directional engagements with the dramatic setting.