WORDS Amelia Brown IMAGES Natasha Dawjee Laurent
It took just two months to renovate a dated two-bedroom duplex apartment in Queenswood, Pretoria, and transform it into a cool, modern, open-plan home.
Architect George F. Pieterse of The Stoep Collective is both the project designer and owner of the apartment. “Being my own client was a challenge in its own right!” laughs George. Other challenges included staying within the budget and ensuring economical use of the 100 m2 available space.
George took his inspiration from the city and urban loft-style apartments that combine an industrial aesthetic with slick, refined finishes. Light, both natural and artificial, formed an integral part of the design. “I approached it as an additional building material rather than an add-on,” explains George. “We couldn’t chop into the existing concrete slab to increase electrical points, so I designed the lighting installation for the downstairs open-plan space. The black conduits give the apartment that industrial feel I wanted to introduce.” The pendants above the dining room table and in the bathroom are from Spazio.
“Overall the apartment simply works much better: It functions as a cohesive unit rather than several compartmentalised spaces,”says George. “It was great to witness what was possible simply by revisiting the interior layout of these rooms. The result is a distinctly cosmopolitan, ‘big city’ feel; a space which lends itself to lazy Sunday afternoons just as well as it does to sipping wine into the early hours.”