PROJECT: MAISON MAUDUIT
LOCATION: ELGIN, WESTERN CAPE
PHOTOGRAPHIC/IMAGERY CREDITS: KEITH QUIXLEY / RLR ARCHITECTS
The site is located on a farm in the Elgin Valley near Grabouw.
On approach to the site the road is lined with trees, a rhythm which echo that of the farm orchards. The site is overgrown with beautiful oak trees overlooking a breathtaking view over the agrarian landscape toward the Hottentots-Holland Mountain ranges beyond. At the heart of this arrangement is a massive sculptural Oak tree.
The decision to embrace the characteristics of the landscape was central to our design considerations for the project and resulted in nesting the building within this Oak Forest and shaping it around the trees. The main dwelling is deliberately orientated to take better advantages of the view and sun angles.
The main volume living area is reminiscent of the farm shed, complete with double volume, loft and oversized door openings. The flat roof, lean-to, clip-on boxes surrounding this volume are introduced as scaling elements to mitigate and reduce the overall visual impact of the building into the surrounding landscape.
In realizing this goal of setting into a rural environment the design reverts to more traditional plan forms and ties into the architectural language of the region, but with a cleaner contemporary expression. The gables acknowledge the traditional architectural influence in the Grabouw region, while windows are kept small to accentuate the walled architectural typology of regional Western Cape architypes.
Materials were chosen for the project to reflect a regional character and utilized in the design as custom made sculptural objects to emphasize a handmade artisanal farm like feel. Muted colour tones are chosen to reflect the natural environment, while a rich pallet of textures reflects a handmade quality that add detail and liven up the interior.