A Small Stone And Concrete House Built Completely Off The Grid

After their clients made the drastic decision to move out of the city into a very remote part of South Africa, the team at studio Nadine Engelbrecht Architect were faced with the challenge of designing and building a house that was completely off the grid

The stones used for the exterior walls of the house were collected from the site View in gallery
The stones used for the exterior walls of the house were collected from the site

The area was so remote in fact that the client had to spend some time before the project even started building an access road to the site. They chose this place because they wanted to simplify their life as a family and to enjoy a healthier lifestyle with fresh air and clean water. 

The ground floor of the house is dedicated to the social areas and there staircases leading to the loft bedroomsView in gallery
The ground floor of the house is dedicated to the social areas and there staircases leading to the loft bedrooms

The project had a small budget and that, combined with the desire to keep things simple, inspired the architects to construct a house that’s small and very practical. It has a tiny footprint of only 86 square meters and 120 square meters of living space in total. To save space they created loft bedrooms and they combined all the common areas into one big and airy space on the ground floor.

The loft bedrooms are open, bright and cozyView in gallery
The loft bedrooms are open, bright and cozy
The double-height living area opens onto a deck with a really nice viewView in gallery
The double-height living area opens onto a deck with a really nice view
Stone accent walls were incorporated into just about every room of the houseView in gallery
Stone accent walls were incorporated into just about every room of the house

The budget constraints also led the architects to incorporate a series of reclaimed elements into their design, most notably the old steel windows. They also chose to use a palette of raw and unprocessed materials such as concrete for the floors and walls and stones that were collected on site for some of the walls. These are actually meant to serve as rock-climbing walls which one of the passions that the owners share. 

A conscious effort was made to preserve most of the boulders and sandstone on the siteView in gallery
A conscious effort was made to preserve most of the boulders and sandstone on the site
The house is 100% off the grid and built of simple and unprocessed materialsView in gallery
The house is 100% off the grid and built of simple and unprocessed materials
The house as a whole is simple, authentic and nature-orientedView in gallery
The house as a whole is simple, authentic and nature-oriented