When the term 'off-grid' comes to mind, you would be totally forgiven for thinking of a modest structure with modest conveniences to enable such a way of life, however, introducing this most amazing conservatory home in South Africa, such facts needn't always be true.
Designed by Nadine Englebrecht, this home comprises a long structure with an intermediary conservatory space in it's middle, separating the home into two whilst offering a fantastic interior-exterior relationship. Located just outside of Pretoria (South Africa), you could easily justify such a ginormous intervention in the home given the locale's climate, however, would you ever dare to go as grand as what has been realised?
Orientated as so to capitalise on the expansive views of the near and far, the central double-ended glazed conservatory is as much the inward-facing heart and soul, cosy and warm centre of the home as it is the exterior-addressing hallway core. Double-height (as you might have imagined already by such a description), the gable-roofed structure gives an abundance of light all day long and objectifies the rudimentary dining table as the centre of its space. With all sorts of ancillary rooms connected into this one big space, it is the addressing of the exterior which stands to be most impressive by SATORI & SCOUT's books.
Achieving off-grid status by way of Passivhaus methods and standards - the keener of you designers might have assumed this - the home is absolutely perfect in both summer and winter climates, even at their most extreme. Featuring insulation throughout to cater for the colder months, the home's central conservatory helps to trap and retain all of the sun's incoming radiation whilst also keeping the hot-cold interior-exterior balance correct. With the heated air then circulated about the home whilst the double open-ends simultaneously allow cross-ventilation to have full effect, the adjustable panelling system that is employed on all the home's glazing is so simple yet so effective. Complete with outside courtyards and patios, you would be hard done to decide between whether you prefer the inside or outside environment.
As you might have also assumed, the home does feature many solar panels on its roof to provide that essential off-grid electricity, but more unusually and curiously, the home also boasts two dams to collect, retain and utilise running water for the property; heated by a solar geyser, really, this home is absolutely off-grid. The home's beautiful underground wine cellar (as pictured in the gallery) is but the icing on the cake as every room is as carefully considered as each other. Built on sloping topography, many of the bedrooms have private balconies; SATORI & SCOUT's favourite feature, though, is perhaps the consistent colour and material palette used throughout: a gorgeously simple white cement and brick combination complement the exposed steel structure and nomadic furniture furnishings perfectly. Discover more about the architects and project online at: EngelbrechtNadine.com
Photography credit : Marsel Roothman