South African Designer, Esias Bosch is the founder of EB Architects (Pty) Ltd in White River, Mpumalanga. Having grown up in the Lowveld and returning home to open his firm, Bosch has a distinct understanding of the Lowveld climate and lifestyle making him the ideal professional to provide us with some tips for designing the perfect Lowveld home.
#1 – Accessibility to outside from all rooms
Lowveld living is all about being outside and getting up close and personal with nature whenever we can. When designing your home, one should consider having access to outside from as many rooms as possible. In this way, you will constantly feel connected with nature and can simply take a step outside.
#2 – Large patios
A large patio in the Lowveld is a must-have. “We enjoy such great weather all year round in the Lowveld that we need to make the most of it by having space on our patios to live comfortably” says Sias. If you need to, try to cut costs elsewhere but don’t sacrifice your large patio.
#3 – Climate responsiveness
According to Sias, it is important for a home to be able to respond well to different climatic conditions. One should consider for example having large overhangs in the Lowveld so that when it rains you can still have your doors open without getting wet. “This allows for a sensory experience of the rain, you can see, hear and smell it” says Sias. Other areas for climatic responsiveness consideration include morning sun in your kitchen and the orientation of your windows.
#4 – Multiple outside living areas
Consider having more than one patio or stoep area for living outside. Because we spend so much time outside, it is convenient to have more than one option to move to if there is a wind blowing on one side of the house, you can move to an alternative area that is more protected. Or in Winter, it might be nice to have an outside area that is slightly smaller and more intimate with a fire pit or boma look and feel.
Ultimately the final design of your home will depend largely on your site position and gradient, however the above are some very useful tips to consider and will make any home in the Lowveld an attractive option that blends in with its natural surrounds.