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CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

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					                                                                                                  HOUSE OF THE MONTH


                     THIS PAGE Heath and Oliver
                     Krynauw play on the edge of
                     the wooden deck, alongside
                         the pool. OPPOSITE The
                           view of the Waterberg
                         house from the dirt road
                              that approaches it.




                                                       CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
                                                    Four urban families have built a shared weekend house
                                                           overlooking hectars of unspoilt Waterberg bush
                                                                            Text Sarah Buitendach Production Sven Alberding Photographs Elsa Young




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                                                                                    HOUSE OF THE MONTH




                     S
                           pend any time at this rambling, thatched home in the
                           pristine Waterberg and it’ll soon be very clear why
                           it holds so much appeal for the four families that
                     share it. Littlies Heath, Oliver and Liam Krynauw splash
                     in the pool, while older brother Joshua and his friend
                     head off on their bikes for an adventure on the surrounding
                     land (there are no predators, but giraffe, zebra and
                     antelope sightings make this a favoured pastime). And
                     while the junior members of the family are having loads of
                     fun outdoors, mom Glen and dad André (whose weekend
                     it was when HL visited) chat to friends visiting from a
                     nearby house as they prepare lunch in an open-plan
                     kitchen with spectacular bushveld views. Work done, it’s
                     time to relax on the wraparound veranda, gin and tonic in
                     hand. This really is the quintessential example of a great
                     family weekend away.
                         The four couples who own the property on the beautiful
                     Zebula Country Lodge near Bela-Bela have been friends
                     since varsity. ‘We loved the idea of owning a home where
                     we could take turns to spend weekends (and also come
                     here together) and do something to prevent our kids
                     from becoming expert mall-crawlers,’ says Glen. With
                     the van Wyk, Coetsee and Krynauw families all living in
                     Jo’burg, the Waterberg is close enough to the city for quick
                     weekend jaunts. And it offers a proper bush break for
                     the Marxes, who live in London and visit for a longer
                     stretch in December.
                         Having bought the land, the couples knew exactly who
                     they wanted to build their dream weekend house for them.
                     ‘Our mutual friends Anna and Hendrik Roos co-own
                     kr2 architects. They’re South African architects based in
                     Switzerland, with a partner in Cape Town. We knew they’d
                     be perfect for the job,’ says Glen. The kr2 team jumped
                     at the chance to design their first bush lodge. Inspired by
                     their favourite game lodges Punda Maria and Shingwedzi
                     in the Kruger National Park, and the Waterberg mountains
                     in the distance, they built a simple elongated thatched
                     structure – one, as Anna puts it, ‘that gives a feeling of
                     timelessness and the sense of belonging in the bush’.
                         Central to the home is a vast kitchen-cum-lounge that
                     opens onto a wooden deck. ‘We liked the idea of an old
                     farm-style wraparound veranda, and the deck is a modern
                     interpretation of this’, explains André. Four identical
                     bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, were built
                     downstairs so that all the families can stay at the house




                     THIS PAGE, TOP In a modern take on old farm-style
                     wraparound verandas, wooden decking runs around
                     the house and past each of the four downstairs
                     bedrooms. BOTTOM Glen and Liam Krynauw at the
                     bountiful lunch table on the deck. OPPOSITE The open-
                     plan kitchen-cum-lounge. The concrete slab to the right
                     of the room runs the full length of this sizeable room
                     and acts as a serving area and display space.




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                                                                                                                                          HOUSE OF THE MONTH




                     together, and each of the couples has a separate sleeping         THIS PAGE, TOP LEFT Retractable doors create a
                     space. Directly above these rooms lie the children’s bunk-        seamless flow between inside and outside living
                                                                                       areas. TOP RIGHT A rather inquisitive neighbour.
                     bedded dorms and play area.
                                                                                       BOTTOM Sets of bunk beds in the boys’ dorm
                        Wanting to keep the interior decoration of the house           create more sleeping space for visiting friends.
                     child-friendly and practical, the families enlisted the help      OPPOSITE, TOP LEFT The entrance to the house,
                     of decorator Jenny Baker. In keeping with the budget, Jenny       complete with red earth coloured wall. TOP
                     (who has many a holiday house interior behind her) chose          RIGHT Oliver Krynauw plays next to the pool.
                     reasonably priced chain-store furnishings for the basics          BOTTOM The outside entertainment area and its
                     and then added a more personal element by incorporating           spectacular views.
                     heirlooms belonging to the various families involved.
                     ‘We loved how she added subtle colour with fabrics and
                     cushions, and touches of wow into the house with items
                     like the giant wooden chandelier’, observes Glen. ‘The
                     house looks great but it isn’t precious; it’s a space where
                     we all have fun.’
                        When all the families are here together, the place buzzes
                     with the sounds of adult conversation, and kids (there are
                     12) playing in the pool or gathering bikes and binoculars
                     for bush excursions. On other weekends, when just one of
                     the families visits on their own, the pace is slower and things
                     are a little quieter, but the aim is the same – spending time
                     away from the city, languorously enjoying bushveld life.
                     For this group of friends, owning this weekend spot in the
                     Waterberg is a dream turned reality.
                     Architects Anna Roos, Hendrik Roos, and Jan
                     Klingler of kr2 architects, 0041-(0)31-312-1689
                     (Anna and Hendrik), 021-465-9837 (Jan); Builder
                     Frikkie Geyser of Crossroad Projects, 012-809-3251;
                     Interior decorator Jenny Baker 083-629-2601


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                                                                                                                                                                              HOUSE OF THE MONTH


                                                                                     THIS PAGE The lounge area with
                                                                                     its huge fireplace just visable. kr2
                                                                                                                              OWNERS’ HOME TRUTHS
                                                                                     architects cleverly added a floor level   Our favourite way to spend time here as a family is watching the stars out in
                                                                                     window that allows morning light to      the bush – there’s nothing like it in London! We also enjoy sitting on the deck
                                                                                     stream into the room. OPPOSITE,          and soaking in the sounds and smells of the bushveld (Esmé and Jaco Marx).
                                                                                     TOP LEFT One of the four self-
                                                                                                                              We love the view and peaceful surroundings (Herc and Helena van Wyk).
                                                                                     contained downstairs bedrooms, the
                                                                                                                              At the moment we’re listening to Ddisselblom, Take That and Mika for the
                                                                                     shower is visible behind the bed.
                                                                                     TOP RIGHT André and Liam walk            kids. (Esmé and Jaco).
                                                                                     down the passage alongside the four      The one luxury I couldn’t live without is espresso in the morning (André
                                                                                     downstairs bedrooms. BOTTOM Each         Krynauw); chocolate, chillies and champagne (Glen Krynauw) and a dishwasher
                                                                                     of the downstairs bedrooms opens         (Herc and Helena).
                                                                                     up onto the deck and veld beyond.        I’m currently reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (André) and
                                                                                                                              A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Glen).
                                                                                                                              Before we come here we stock up on Illy coffee, Woolworth’s rusks, Japanese
                                                                                                                              rice crackers and Simonsberg creamy blue cheese (Herc and Helena).
                                                                                                                              For long road trips a mini DVD player for each child is a must; for flights, we pack
                                                                                                                              Rescue Remedy and playdough for the kids… gin and tonics make the experience
                                                                                                                              a lot easier for the grown-ups! (Glen and André).
                                                                                                                              Our three favourite objects in the Waterberg house are the table on the deck,
                                                                                                                              the leather sofa in the entertainment area <CHECK?> and the outdoor shower
                                                                                                                              (Esmé and Jaco).




                     STYLE FILE
                     Living with littlies. When designing a house that will
                     be home to kids too, it’s important to be practical.
                     ‘The visual/ audio relationship between the adults’ and
                     children’s rooms was something we looked at carefully,’
                     says architect Anna Roos. From the passage outside the
                     adults’ rooms you can look up and talk to the children
                     above without having to go upstairs. The kids also have
                     their own play/ TV area that is separate but visually linked.
                     When it comes to safety, the kr2 team designed vertical
                     balustrades to discourage climbing; and the pool was
                     positioned close to the entertainment area so that the
                     adults can keep an eye on the kids.
                     Building in the bush. Building in remote area like this
                     means materials aren’t always easy to come by. For this
                     reason things were kept simple and only very basic building
                     materials were used. The architects were also mindful of
                     the environment in which they were building and kept the
                     footprint of the house to a minimum and the structure,
                     which hugs the contours of the land, unobtrusive.
                     Syndication homes. If you’re thinking of building (or
                     renovating) a home with friends, it’s important to appoint
                     one of the investors as a facilitator for the project.
                     This person keeps notes, minutes from meetings and
                     communicates with the rest of the syndicate. The families
                     involved recommend assigning independent contractors
                     to handle the architecture and decoration of the home, as
                     this minimises potential conflict.



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