[Image credit: Exterior, Forest Town Long House – studioMAS/Tristan Mclaren]
I love the element of surprise (as long as it’s a good one of course!!), and the Forest Town Long House located in Johannesburg, South Africa rises to the challenge…resembling a large shipping container, this house doesn’t look like much from the entrance approach; however, swivel round to the back and what you get is an impressive expanse of open spaces maximising on light, and views that take in a forest of trees and an extensive garden covered with dense foliage. What drew me to the house was the vast sliding door that acts as a removable wall; completely opening up the living space to let the outside in a vice versa.
Built-in 2005 by studioMAS and Urban Designers, a South African based architectural practice Forest Town Long House was created to reflect the requirements of contemporary urban living in South Africa, safety, comfort and privacy. Vertically lined with a series of small walls the street-facing building façade was designed to function as a boundary wall that explains the utilitarian appearance, behind which are three levels of living space.
[Image credits: Living Areas, Forest Town Long House – studioMAS/Tristan Mclaren]
Concealing a cellar, workshop, study, and private patios on either side of the garage, the basement level is flush with the street. At 12m long the glass sliding door opens onto a swimming pool and the lush garden; and is the focal point of the next level up, the living area consisting of a family room, movie theatre, dining area and an open plan kitchen that leads out a large vegetable garden. Overlooking the living and entertainment areas the top-level sees two mezzanines on which an additional study and reading room are located. Two-bedroom wings lead out from the study landing, one-two the west houses the master bedroom en suite and dressing room, whilst the rest of the bedrooms are located to the east. The interior is decorated throughout with touches of African interior decor and accessories.
[Image credits: Interior, Forest Town Long House – studioMAS/Tristan Mclaren]
Offset by the abundance of greenery, the décor is highly contemporary; minimal urban chic with lots of hard angles that complement the rigid structure of the building. Information sourced from:
For further information about studioMAS visit: www.studiomas.co.za