Ivy Villa Stables Conversion and Studio
Those who read the professional journals and peruse the popular magazines will be well acquainted with this project as it has evolved over the past five years.
The stables were the wood and iron building of the restant of the erf of the main Edwardian verandahed homestead at the corner of Ivy and Villa streets, Pretoria. The integrity of the fabric of the existing has been retained and the spaces skilfully manipulated by clip-on glass bays and the insertion of plate-glass windows to expand the visual perimeters of the shoe-box shed. The whole is conceived as follies within Mondrian geometry of gravel, plants and ponds, all surmounted by an extant water tank and stand brought back to use.
The studio is a new structure, the form-giving an intellectualisation of the vernacular of the existing stables. The aesthetic is the same, but the structure newly invented rather than being compromised by existing materials. The fly-away butterfly roof adds a whimsy in which only an architect designing for herself can indulge, but provides an opportunity for playful tectonics. The insertion of electrical services by BARNARD, pursued with fetishistic exactitude, guides the eye and makes intelligent the relationships. One must take issue with the reckless disregard for climatic concerns, strange for someone Pretorian born-and-bred. However the architect is her own client and her poetic deserts her just. Perhaps there is call for some Noeroic efforts.
The added structure sits well on the site, enhancing the relationship between the stables and the restored homestead it once served. Although the appearance is a little startling in the conservative residential suburb of Clydesdale, the buildings shares the domestic scale of its surrounds.
Though not necessarily a model to be mimicked, the building is considered merit-worthy in that it is an expression of an architect in serious intellectual pursuit of her art.
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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