House Snijman

Location: Stellenbosch
Date of Completion: March 1995

“Wonderful living spaces inside and outside”

When we bought a plot and decided to build, we knew exactly what we did not want, and had a few very specific ideas of aspects we wanted, but needed professional input (and a lot of it!) to put it all together. We wanted a house which would, most importantly, live well, rustic rather than grand, a Mediterranean influence and style (because it suits the environment), but also a bit of Africa (and definitely not a Tuscan villa!). We approached Ben, who produced a few proposals and sketches, and soon produced a result which reflected these requirements beyond what we expected or could have imagined.

The house was moved closer to the south facing street with a resulting large north facing private back garden. It was put at a slight angle to face exactly north (at the back), with a stoep and pergola for vines to provide shade in summer and allow the winter sun to penetrate the house. We wanted a rustic effect for the outside walls, allowing for the house to ‘age’ and avoiding the need to paint (and repaint). At the time we were building, this was quite a novelty, but Ben obtained the necessary information and this also became a reality.

The living areas was designed to be open and flowing, but with interesting corners and details. The kitchen allows for food preparation to become a social activity. The ceilings downstairs were made higher than normal to create a feeling of space.

The house is not big in so far as square meters are concerned (as per instructions from the owners…and the limitations with regard to funds….), but both the inside and outside create wonderful living spaces. Ben supervised the building process throughout, and in the following years we approached him again for minor additions and changes, as our circumstances changed.

It is now almost 20 years later, and we are very happy with how the house has aged and most importantly, how it accommodates the living style which we wanted.

Phil and Annetjie Snijman


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