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© 2019 by SmitArchitects

House Naude Pool room

2014

Waverley is an old established suburb in Bloemfontein. When the clients approached the architects to add a playroom next to their 1940’s house, they were with good reason concerned about the compatibility with the free-standing garage, but even more so about the juxtaposition of the existing old house with the new playroom.

The size of the playroom for the two growing teenagers (ages 12 and 14) was to fill a part of the garden but to keep the established trees intact. The accommodation consisted only of one large room (40 m2) to house the pool and table tennis tables as well as a seating area for watching television. To be able to double as guest accommodation, a kitchenette was added and the previous domestic servant’s bathroom was remodeled to accommodate guests as well as serve as a dressing room for the existing swimming pool adjacent to the new playroom. An outside deck seating area was created to form a threshold between the playroom and the garden / swimming pool.

The design approach was to link the playroom with the garage but to handle it as a garden pavilion. The client wanted it to read as light as possible without obstructing the view from the verandah dining area of the existing house.  Due to the slope of the garden, the pavilion was slightly elevated to give the impression of floating. The roof also floats to allow views from inside to the surrounding trees. Two large sliding doors open up the corner of the playroom to link the deck with the swimming pool and allow a natural flow of space. These sliding doors are within a concrete “wrap” to emphasize the view towards the old house as well as the garden from within the new building.

Although unashamedly modern, the combination of timber, steel, concrete, and glass proved to be in harmony with its aged neighboring house. Due to the lightness of structure created by the floating elements as well as its transparency, the pavilion contributes to a pleasant entertainment area.