House Kilian is a new private dwelling located on Monaghan Farm near Lanseria, to the north of Johannesburg. Architecturally, the house can be considered a contemporary interpretation of the traditional farm house because of its simple forms and large, open volume. From a formal perspective, the design consists of two large rectangular volumes joined in “T” shape. These two volumes are designed conceptually and programmatically around two different orientations.
The first volume, oriented towards the Crocodile River, contains the public spaces - including the kitchen, dining, living, and movie rooms. A feeling of openness and breadth of space beyond the boundaries of the building is experienced as one enters the main living space. This vastness and connectivity to the outside is exaggerated by large exposed truss volume and the oversized doors that slide away leaving the main volume completely open to the valley. On top of this volume above the movie room, there is an open roof terrace. This can be used as an alternative entertaining and dining space, where the user can experience the uninterrupted panorama of the Magalies Mountains, valleys, and farmlands.
The second volume contains the more private bedrooms and bathrooms, and is oriented towards the Magalies Mountains. Here, the architecture is more intimate, with smaller, cosier spaces where one can retreat from the more social spaces. For the children, a generous play room is located at the end of the volume. This space opens out onto an enclosed courtyard, where the children can play in a protected environment.
The finishing materials used in the house consist of earthy colours and natural textures juxtaposed with refined, contemporary finishes. A massive, rough, earthy-brown coarse grained wall runs the length of the two volumes, separating and delineating the public from the private. This wall is then contrasted with the smooth, white screed floors, large aluminium glazed doors and windows, and the slick lacquered finish of the kitchens and bathrooms.