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  • Writer's pictureCraig K. Whitehead

Hillside Haven - Bassonia Estate

Stylishly relevant thirteen years later...

Architecture & Structural Finishes

Raised on steel stilts high on the rocky ridges in Bassonia Estate, south of Johannesburg, this exquisite loft style family home designed by architect Hugo Hamity and Craig Whitehead from CKW Lifestyle is a masterpiece that captures breathtaking views and sunsets. The home is stilted on steel supports to elevate it without tampering with the rocky features of the site, while allowing one to enjoy the brilliant views, horizon and sunsets in the surrounding area.

Unlike any conventional home, the private areas and bedrooms are all located on the ground floor, while the top floor features an expansive living area for leisure and a stylish open plan kitchen—finished in Dark African Mahogany and Zebrano wood. This open plan top floor allows the living areas of the home to enjoy the best views and sunsets while the private areas are reserved for privacy and seclusion.

The elevated steel roof design which overhangs the outside walls of the house, allows natural perimeter vent lighting into the living areas flooding the top floor with natural light and views of the sky. In keeping with the indigenous areas of the estate and it's surroundings—all natural indigenous planting was used in the natural gardens like succulents, thorn trees, aloes and veld flowers. Also ensuring for an easily maintained natural garden that compliments the aspects of the stilted home above the rocky outcrop.

The interior architecture was designed and finished in a host of natural materials selected by Craig Whitehead for the continuity of the architectural design intent—all natural and mostly sustainable. With possible exception to a very contemporary balustrade in glass in the narrow lofty entrance hall to reflect light and create the illusion of more space and a floating stairwell. Sandstone is used in all the bathrooms and the flors are finished in natural sandstone and Merbau wooden flooring. A flood of LED downlighting on dimmer settings ensure the home can easily capture the adjustment of light intensities as the daylight changes. This ensures regulating the flood of electrical lighting to suit the mood and ambience of the sunsets or evening views.

Interior Design & Decor:

In keeping with the architectural theme, Craig Whitehead set about selecting finishes and designing the interior design structural elements and decor to maximise the space while maintaining true to the brief.

Custom designer furniture from the CKW Lifestyle Collection was used to decorate the home in a stylishly modern, timeless style. Tones of red, grape, taupe and charcoal compliment the natural colours in the home with the touches of black for accent. A bold red hibiscus painting adorns a feature wall in the top floor area—creating a focal point of colour in the lofted living space. Sofas set back to back create divided living arrangements for watching television and conversation and custom teak shutters on slider tracks allow one to control the view and the afternoon western sunshine as the sun sets. Fabrics vary from smart technology enhanced microfiber suedes to leather and chenille, making style and easy maintenance the order of the day.

Definitely one of our most exciting projects in collaboration with the architect , and despite being completed in 2006—and thirteen years down the is every bit as relevant today.

LOCATION: Bassonia, Johannesburg South Africa

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