Craighall Park, Johannesburg


This large 3-storey house for a builder and his extended family was designed with generous proportions. Ceiling heights are 3,1m inside and the rooms are large and comfortable. The wide treads and low risers of the main staircase (600mm & 140mm respectively) are in order for the Client’s daughter, who needs the assistance of a walker to move about, to comfortably climb the stairs: Instead of making a ramp to make her feel strange, everybody uses the same stair, but the stair is made to suit her. The gradual staircase becomes a main feature of the house and emphasizes the labour of life and movement – an everyday phenomenon of going upstairs becomes an exalted event.


The size and mechanism of standardized sash windows, sliding doors and sliding security/shading shutters were designed. Doors on the façade slide into cavity walls and disappear out of view. Only four sizes and types of fenestration were used on the 875m² house, to streamline costs and for speedy construction, and used in creative combinations that bring about various types of relationships between exterior and interior: disappearing folding-stacking doors glazed wall on the living room to veranda and garden, single sliding glass doors used alone or in combinations of twos or threes where opening onto a garden or balcony, upstairs sliding sash windows with fixed panes to make their lower sections transparent balustrades, and small top-hung windows for bathrooms where privacy or darker spaces e.g. the staircase are required.



New family home, Craighall Park


C Heinzelmann