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Mjejane 001The original model is satisfyingly close to how the completed project turned out. 
Image credit: Architects of Justice

The home, a private big five game reserve on the boundary of the Kruger National Park, which is beautiful from every angle, is incredibly site and context driven, fitting the client’s requirements to connect with nature.

Nature, however did provide its own unique challenges; there could be no openings or entries into the roof void, as it would provide the ideal habitat for a myriad of animals to take up residence within this space, and measures had to be taken to prevent warthogs residing underneath the suspended wooden deck on the north of the site.

The crowning jewel of the house is a floating steel roof that overhangs the house on every side with a minimum overhang of 1.6m. At its maximum, the roof overhang extends in an impressive 13m butterfly cantilever creating a seemingly unsupported roof over a boma. The total roof area for the 450m² residence totalled at an impressive 900m² allowing inside spaces to blend effortlessly with the outside.

Mjejane 002The steel roof overhangs helped design a passively cooled home which mitigates heat gain. 
Image credit: Architects of Justice

“Initially the roof was to be concrete and planted,” notes project architect from Architects Of Justice, Kuba Granicki. “After the client eventually decided against the use of a green roof due to concerns of maintenance for what was to be primarily a low-maintenance holiday home, the concept was redeveloped with a steel roof that would be lighter and quicker to erect on site. With this construction methodology, we still managed to obtain cantilevers all round on the roof and an open span lounge / dining room of more than 100m2, without columns to obscure the view over the pool and surrounding bushveld.”

The steel roof overhangs helped design a passively cooled home which mitigates heat gain by shading the exteriors throughout the day in an area of the country that often reaches 30°C in winter and well over 40°C in summer.

Mjejane 003Receiving the recent Commendation from MPIA is another feather in the cap for this young practice. 
Image credit: Architects of Justice

In the interior, the idea was to not obstruct the user from the surrounding nature, and as such, huge glass windows, doors and fin walls constantly connect and direct the user to the outside bush. The placement of the windows facilitates a constant flood of light on the hand polished concrete floors and simple plaster walls, while angled ceilings facilitate natural airflows and complement other sustainable features of the project (such as rainwater harvesting from the extensive roof structure).

Mjejane 004In this private lodge at Mjejane Private Game Reserve, the architects have created a structure which rests elegantly in the surroundings. Image credit: Architects of Justice

The project has received a Commendation in the Mpumalanga Institute for Architecture (MPIA) Awards for Architecture 2017.


 

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