This project called is for a small, practical bush house in an eco estate called Shona Langa. We were challenged to create a building that would stand out and resemble contemporary architecture, while still merging with its undisturbed surroundings. Transparencies between interior and exterior spaces were key in achieving this goal.

Project Name: Green House
Office Name: A4AC Architects
Office Website:
Firm Location: 22 Davy Rd, Industria North, Johannesburg, 1719
Completion Year: 2022
Gross Built Area (m2/ ft2): 105 m2
Project Location: Shona Lange nature estate, Thabazimbi, South-Africa
Program / Use / Building Function: Dwelling
Lead Architects: Dirk Coetser
Photo Credits:  Ernst van Biljon   

Green House by a4ac Architects - SHeet4
©Ernst van Biljon

This house was designed with functionality and minimalism in mind. Every square meter saved mattered due to a tight budget. This 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling is only 70sqm in floor area. However, its external patio is 50 sqm, making it ideal for African climates.

The house has two major roof elements. The first is the floating roof system which gives the house a unique form and uses ventilation as an environmental solution. The rounded eaves end the elevations in a fashion that helps make this house look like it belongs to its natural environment.

Green House by a4ac Architects - SHeet6
©Ernst van Biljon

The building’s structure was designed with a steel skeleton to make it strong yet lightweight. It was then covered with a steel mesh and concrete, which helped to keep the structure well-insulated. The glazing on the other hand, is made of two types of glass: double and single pane. This achieved a balance between cost and thermal performance.

Green House by a4ac Architects - SHeet9
©Ernst van Biljon

Further enhancing its green impact is a solar panel array that helps power the entire building, cutting down on its dependence on fossil fuels. The dwelling is electrified by PV panels. Water heating is done through bottled gas. Plumbing is done through a septic tank and French drain. The only grid service used is potable water.
This makes the house very low-key to run in the remote location.


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