• Westcliff Estate/ Studio Mas

Architects: Studio Mas  
Location: Johannesburg  South Africa
Project Team: Pierre Swanepoel, Precious Makwe, Sean Mahoney
Interior Décor: Studio Mas
Project Year: 2002
Photographer: Westcliff Estate/ Studio Mas
Website: www.studiomas.co.za

Jozi based architectural office Studio Mas ventured into the landscape of Johannesburg with a contemporary and almost savanna design that whilst not a stark show stopper, manages to capture you with the deep hue and extraordinary elusive aura within its thick stone edifice and glass architecture. This is a convoluted effort through a series of trials and errors with the site towards as the architects put it, an animated style of design that uses the status quo to come up with something ordinary yet detached from the norm

From the Project Architects

INTRODUCTION
Credited with making a significant contribution to the evolution of the modernist house, this building never loses contact with the expansive views of the man-made landscape of Johannesburg and the Magaliesburg beyond. As one drives past the squat, mushroom shaped columns supporting the water body of the swimming pool above, one is constantly aware of the interconnection of landscape and built form. 

RATIONALE
The experience of walking up the narrow ramp animated by the electrically operated vertically sliding core-ten steel gate and the glass door behind it, is one of spatial squeeze as the expansive landscape disappears and we only have the giant stone walls on either side inviting us to touch them. The ramp transforms into a double volume colonnade serving as an anteroom to the living room. 
The sculptural and beautifully executed columns, frame the view to the living room, the terrace, the swimming pool and the panorama beyond. The living room floor, the terrace and the swimming pool beyond are all nearly on the same plane. The open space framed by these architectural elements resembles a courtyard that allows the surrounding landscape to be the primary focus. 

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