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Paarl, South Africa 2022


An architectural masterpiece at the foot of the Paarlberg, this private residence was realized for a couple with a desire to let their creative minds run free. The brief was to challenge the norm, explore the unknown, and create the unexpected. Each corner of the house was meticulously crafted around the interplay of shadows, sunlight, and reflections. A sculpture in nature, both striking and mysterious.

Architecture & Interior Design: Studio JVW

Publication: Designboom

The Paarl residence was envisioned for a private client and his life partner, with the ambition to create a tranquil space within nature to balance out busy city living. The result is a reflective environment that resets the boundaries of design, living and locality.


Situated in the baron landscape and mysterious desert of Paarl - the residence honors its natural surroundings through careful and conscious development, and serves as a radical reaction to local conservative values.    


The residence’s location, openness and scale reinterpret the conventional way of living normally found in Paarlberg. Through the architecture and spatial planning, the outside elements are invited in, evoking a natural calmness and meditative mood. Not only a living space, the residence honors its surroundings to become a sculptural element infused within it, serving as a ‘living’ art piece.


Studio JVW reimagined  vernacular Cape Dutch architecture that is commonly found within the region as well as reinventing the historic H-Plan layout to create a more purposeful and sustainable spatial experience. This modern approach to spatial planning creates a harmonious balance of private & semi-private areas, ensuring no wasted space or restrictive divisions.

Walking into the residence, the foyer experience is elevated to evoke protection and calmness - through its impressive yet meaningful scale and infusion of nature. Exploring further, the interiors and finishes evoke nostalgia and nuance through careful curation and styling. The contrast of vintage and heritage design objects represent the styles of the client and his partner, contextualising the space with meaningful design accents.


Fabrics and other design materials are consciously sourced from local craftspeople and merchants. From the alpaca wool from a neighboring farm used in the space's rugs & textiles to the local limestone which is harvested into a paint pigment and used throughout the space - locality helps bring a monolithic yet convivial feel to the residence.


Nothing is polished or perfect - every scratch and surface is meant to tell a story to honor its natural surroundings. Serving not only as an escape of the city, but a reminder of slower, more sustainable living. The residence evokes a new interpretation of modernity - choosing to embrace imperfection, enrich with remembered styles and reset the ideals of living, family and modernity. 


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