priests' retirement cottages

Craighall Park, Johannesburg


This six-unit retirement home houses two cottages in an awkwardly-positioned existing house and four new cottages at the back of the old house, in an L-shaped arrangement. The new buildings maintain a large number of established trees on site, and are tucked away towards the perimeter of the stand, creating a central courtyard-garden around which the pool, the old house, the pool patio and the cottages are arranged. The main building bulk is articulated on this courtyard side at various hierarchical levels: the main bulk of the building is broken down as each cottage steps down the slope; the façade treatment which is composed of alternating stone and plastered wall panels; and the “clip-on” extensions which are the verandas and their pergolas, and  the bedroom bay-windows that face the pool. The garden is further articulated by a series of ramps which allow easy access to the elderly to the whole site as each cottage is successively higher.


Each unit is comprised of a generous kitchenette, lounge-dining area and bedroom, with small but elderly-friendly bathrooms forming approximately 60m² apartments. The walls on the outside are treatments in such a way that dark and light materials alternate: panels of light grey dump-rock walls are interrupted by dark purply-black plastered-and-painted walls with large window surfaces forming a rhythmical edge to the courtyard space. Inside, neutral brown floors and kitchen units offset the colourful greeny-blues that dominate the walls. The original house was renovated but its outside treatment was kept distinct from the new development to differentiate old from new.



Priests' Retirement Cottages, Craighall Park


The Archdiocese of Johannesburg