People:SLEE and CO: Architect
The brief required a weekend house as a place of retreat from city life. Two long double storied red buildings are set back at right angles to the river but slight inclined to one another, establishing a privacy from neighbours while commanding views filtered through trees to the river. On arrival one has a sense of place - a relaxed air of repose and pleasure. The simple double volume shed has the air of the farm house.
This retreat seems to synthesise and refine, in a remarkable way, many of the ideas for domestic living that the architect has developed as trademarks of his work over time – the long dining table experience paralleled by the long kitchen counter as part of the same space, saddlebags of service spaces concealed behind double volume spaces with easy transitions from inside to outside, the doubling up of private indoor and outdoor shower.
Together with the simplicity of the building forms, it is the restraint and masterful use of a restrained palette of modest materials, the clearly thought through juxtaposition of natural and more sophisticated finishes, and impeccable planning that gives delight to the indoor and outdoor spaces. The subtleties in the use of the red earth colours, add brilliantly to the cohesion of the identity of the Red House in its setting of the veld.
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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