Removed from the bustle of Johannesburg and hidden away between woods and a sheer cliff, the Westcliff Pavilion House by GASS Architecture Studios is a beautifully executed study in defying expectations. The steel-frame house includes glass and stone elements as well as a floating wall, open sides and a melding of indoors and out.
The architects wanted to disrupt the site as little as possible, so they decided on a steel home that could be mostly manufactured off-site and assembled in place. The home only breaches the site at the steel footings, with the rest of the home seeming to float on these supports.
The home’s long orientation has one bedroom at each end, with public spaces existing in between. Walls fall away where you would expect them to come between the indoors and outdoors, allowing the residents to feel a deep connection with the home’s surroundings.
One of the most striking features is the floating stone wall, which features indigenous stone harvested from the site itself. The architects designed the wall to rethink the very concept of a wall. It does not rely on the ground for stability; rather, it gains its strength from the home’s frame as it hovers above the ground.
This remarkable stone wall features an outdoor shower just steps away from one of the bedrooms. Combining the remote home site with the open walls and stunning views makes for a compelling balance between openness and privacy.