EVERYTHING JUST FEELS RIGHT!

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Neal Henry is part of the Global Corporate Coverage team from Barclays Africa Group Limited which is the Banking partner for Saint Gobain in Sub-Saharan Africa. He recently spent a weekend at Stand 47 and this is what he had to say about the experience.

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Neal Henry : I was drawn to the minimalist design of the house and the acoustics were significantly different to that I expected.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Neal Henry : The house is very nice and the lived experience does exceed what I was expecting. The internal temperature feels just right and I could very easily imagine myself living here.

Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Neal Henry: At 11PM it was chilly outside, whereas inside it was a ‘ just right’ , 22 degrees. I was pleasantly surprised at how the house maintains internal temperature. Before walking outside I assumed it would be warm, only to discover it was a lot colder than expected.

Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Neal Henry : I am very impressed and could easily live in the house. The ambient temperature inside is surprisingly constant across all the rooms which adds to the comfort level and livability. The flow in the house is impressive which would make it easy to entertain a large number of friends and family. I am used to having the sounds of the hustle and bustle of the city in the background and at first the quiet bothered me, but shortly after arriving, I felt so calm and relaxed, I didn’t really notice it anymore.

Stand 47 : Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Neal Henry : I had no idea that a house built without bricks could be so comfortable to live in. The flow of the house surprised me the most. The fine balance between the light, acoustics and the ambient temperature is perfect, making the house exceptionally comfortable and awesome to live in.

Another element of the house that impressed me is the energy efficiency. This would be a big selling point in the house for me, as it would more than pay for itself in a few years. I am so impressed by the house that my next one will be made out of these materials – this is definitely the future!

Stand 47 : And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Neal Henry : Definitely. Simplistic yet sophisticated. All the elements in the house are effortless. The house has this feeling of flow to it, and everything just feels right.

We would be hard pressed to build a new home using bricks and mortar

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All photos with thanks to Andrew Johnson

Andrew and Tracey Johnson co-own a Boutique Interior Design Studio called And More Design, which offers high-quality interior design solutions to businesses and private individuals who prefer to separate themselves from mass-produced options. They are currently in the process of designing and building their own boutique hotel in Melville, where they will show case their design philosophy.

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Andrew Johnson: The house is very impressive and I enjoy the considered and simple design.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Andrew Johnson: The real thing far exceeds my expectations. The house is comfortable and it feels just right to be in here, while the simple, contemporary and comfort features of the house make it stand out from most others.

Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Andrew Johnson: At around 9PM temperatures outside felt quite chilly, whereas inside it was a pleasant 22 degrees… not too hot or cold. The home is also much quieter than an average house and overall it is extremely quiet.

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Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Andrew Johnson :  I had my best night of sleep in a long time and the house was very quiet during the night. This experience has positively influenced my idea of homes built using these technologies.

Stand 47 : Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Andrew Johnson : Well designed. It works really well and has everything we need and nothing we don’t. Based on this experience we would be hard pressed to build a new home using traditional bricks and mortar.

Stand 47 : And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Andrew Johnson : Definitely. We enjoyed the flowing sense of spaciousness and how it made us feel.

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Increased productivity by day, and relaxation by night.

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All photos courtesy of German Otto Bodenbender. Featured here are German and Luciana.

German Otto Bodenbender, an Argentinian architect now living in Johannesburg, spent this past weekend at Stand 47. German has built up significant experience working at international and local architectural and urban design firms and currently works as an architect and BIM coordinator at one of South Africa’s largest architectural practices, Boogertman + Partners. 

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

German Otto: The layout is very simple and has a clean design. The interior spaces open up to the outside, allowing natural light into the home while letting the surrounding outdoor environment form part of the house.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

German Otto: Nice… above expectation. The temperature of the house feels just right, while the linear lines of the house create a pure design feel.

Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

German Otto : A storm blew over the estate in the early evening, and although the temperature outside was 10 degrees at 11PM, the temperature inside the house was just right at a cosy 23 degrees. In fact, the temperature inside the house stayed constant throughout the day. We enjoyed walking inside the house without our shoes on since the indoor climate was just right.

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Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

German Otto :  I had my best night of sleep in a long time. The house was very quiet during the night, and I had no idea that a house built without bricks could perform so well, not only acoustically, but also thermally.

Stand 47 : Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

German Otto : The house is the perfect result of contemporary and flexible design with outstanding thermal and acoustics performance. It doesn’t compromise quality in any aspects of the design or construction.

Stand 47 : And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

German Otto : Oh yes! During the day, we experienced the space as a nice environment for productivity. During the evening, we felt it encourages relaxing and unplugging. We particularly loved laying on the floor in front of the fire, with a nice glass of wine to finish off the evening.

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THE SKATEISTAN SCHOOL IN JOBURG IS NOW OPEN

 

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Photo credit: Tim Moolman for @skateistan taken 14 August 2016

 

Last weekend saw the official opening of Skateistan, the award-winning non-profit organization that uses skateboarding and education for youth empowerment, in Johannesburg. We are very inspired by this project in the inner city, which seeks to support young people within the city. At the opening, 100 of Skateistan’s students, along with guests and supporters including Tony Hawk and major partners The Skateroom were there to celebrate their big day.

 

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Photo credit: Tim Moolman for @skateistan taken 14 August 2016 

 

Skateistan Youth Leaders and Educators provided guided tours of the amazing classroom spaces that will host Skateistan’s programs; Skate and Create and Back-To-School. Attention quickly turned to the skate park as the crowd watched pro-skaters join forces with Skateistan students for a special session. Skaters of all ages and abilities got involved and helped each other in the park, it was a unique experience for everyone. Then students became spectators, as Tony Hawk and, Birdhouse Skateboards team riders, Shawn Hale and David Loy plus South African skaters, Thalente Biyela and Khule Ngubane, put on an impressive and inspiring demo for all. The event ended with a girls-only skate session involving Skateistan students, staff, and supporters.

 

The Skate School is now officially open and programs are up and running. Students between the ages of 5-17, with a particular focus on girls and low-income youth, have the opportunity to play and learn as part of the Skate and Create program, or access homework help and career advice as part of the Back-To-School program. Exceptional youth have the chance to join the Youth Leadership program to help organize events and assist with sessions. Thanks to support from the Royal Danish Embassy, Comic Relief and Tony Hawk Foundation, over 200 students (47% girls) have already registered for Skateistan’s programs, with the aim of 300 registered students by the end of 2016, and more than 400 in 2017.

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Photo credit: Tim Moolman for @skateistan taken 14 August 2016

MY CREATIVITY AND ENERGY LEVELS HERE ARE OF OLYMPIC STANDARDS!

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We had the pleasure of welcoming Arno Britz (@ArnoB70) -architect-by-day and self-confessed coffeeholic, vinoholic, foodaholic every other moment – to Stand 47 this past weekend. Arno is the principal at Arno Britz Architecture, an Architectural Design Practice with key experience in Residential Design & Residential Developments based in Johannesburg.

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Arno : It is quite impressive, especially the open design and flow between spaces, the transparency to the outside and the elevated ceilings which add to add to the feeling of space.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Arno : Wow… significantly above expectation. It is also much warmer than I expected without having any heating on when we arrived. I was also surprised by the definite difference in acoustics and the warmness of the timber floors.

Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Arno : Even though it was quite cold outside at 10PM, the temperature inside the house was just right at a cosy 19 degrees (a whole 10 degrees warmer than outside). The ambient temperature does make a difference compared to a standard house in winter. Here you don’t have cold feet or a cold nose!

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Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Arno :  On the whole, I was very comfortable in the home. I felt productive and had a surge of creative energy.  I slept better than I had expected to, perhaps because it’s so much more quiet here than in a more conventional brick home.

Stand 47 : Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Arno : There are a few aspects I really enjoyed. It feels like an insulated cocoon with warm timber floors. There is a reason why retro worked in the ’70s and why it works here.

Stand 47 : And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Arno : Definitely. Not only has my perception of homes built without bricks changed, but my creativity and energy levels here are of Olympic standards, compared to my usual cold indoor experiences in winter! One tends to hibernate in winter, but here you feel comfortable to do any task without discomfort.

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BLOWN AWAY, SUPERBLY BEAUTIFUL!

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Mbasa Xolisa Tshombe is a creative spirit. He is an architect and an avid photographer with a range of photos on Instagram @mxtshombe. He is also a proclaimed lover of beautiful things. This weekend, he had a turn to stay at Stand 47 and give us his discerning feedback. Did Stand 47 meet his expectations?

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Mbasa: I was very impressed by the house from the time of our arrival until our departure. What attracted my attention was the simple design form, and open flowing living spaces.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Mbasa: I was blown away, it’s superbly beautiful! Great design!

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Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Mbasa: The interior temperature remains warm compared to the cold exterior. The temperature is surprisingly warm (a whole 12 degrees warmer inside than outside) without the use of any electrical heating. It is very well insulated and we were extremely comfortable inside the home. It is surprisingly quieter than a traditional home and much warmer too.

Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Mbasa:  The home is ultra comfortable. I had my best night of sleep in a long time. It is extremely airy, comfortable, relaxing and induces a sense of calm. I could certainly live in a house like this. It is so inviting.

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Stand 47: Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Mbasa:  My favourite aspect of the home is its connection to the outdoors.

Stand 47: And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Mbasa: Hell Yes! I could so live here.

Understated, with a charm that implies a home not just a house.

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Principal partner of EVOLVE architects, Kevin Els stayed at Stand 47 this past weekend. He has extensive experience in design and implementation, and his design of creative spaces, as well as practical and technical aspects, are of great benefit to his client base. Kevin specializes in residential, corporate, industrial as well as healthcare architecture and is responsible for several of the Firm’s major clients. Kevin values the team approach and ethos, “There is a great reward in placing emphasis on creativity and consideration to our environment within the design”.

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Kevin: I liked the approach to the architecture and its understated space, yet inviting and generous proportions. The clean lines and uncluttered interior make really good use of space and ergonomics.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Kevin: It’s very nice and falls above expectation.

Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Kevin: The house was able to maintain comfortable warm conditions all day and into the night. Even with the beginning chill of the extreme cold front we experienced this week arriving on Saturday night, the house was cosy and remained very comfortable next morning. I was surprised by the high level of climatic comfort, the spaciousness, the well-considered layout and stillness.

Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Kevin: I had a very good night’s sleep in the quiet and still environment created by Stand 47. This experience has changed my perception of a house built without bricks by demonstrating a very high level of quality.

Stand 47: Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Kevin:  Monaghan Farm and Stand 47 are a good combination to the peaceful and relaxing environment one strives for in a home. This house is the way forward; to design a home that structurally envelops a comfortable interior climate irrespective of the season. The home is understated, with a charm that implies a home, not just a house

Stand 47: And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Kevin: Yes… I’m a creative person and in this still environment creativity will definitely prosper!

UNDERSTATED, ELEGANT AND STYLISH.


1Dewald Prinsloo co-founded the bespoke gallery space EBONY (@ebonycurated) in 2007 along with Leonard de Villiers and Marc
Stanes. Their gallery spaces in Franschhoek and Cape Town showcase classic and contemporary fine art combined with exclusive, local product and furniture design. His interest in South African design that has equal parts of soul and sophistication, made him a great candidate for a Winter stay at Stand 47.

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Dewald: The sense of space and the comfortable warmth that I felt upon entering the home impressed me. I felt that this home managed to convey the qualities of stylish elegance while maintaining an understated look.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Dewald: It significantly exceeded my expectations.
2Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Dewald: At 10 PM, the indoor temperature was 18 degrees, while outside it was a really cold 3! Despite the big difference from the outdoors to indoors, it was much warmer than I expected and quite cosy. The house was extremely comfortable at all times of the day and night.

Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Dewald: Well, the house was so quite overnight so I slept really well. I had no idea that a house built without bricks could meet these levels of sophistication and performance. I am impressed by how warm and quiet the house is. A place where I could be productive and happy.
3Stand 47: Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Dewald: I’ve loved every minute in this home; it’s calm, tranquil, inspiring. The positioning on the farm and on the stand itself is perfect and the living experience over the past two days has been brilliant.

Stand 47: And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Dewald: Yes! And yes, again!

SOOTHING, COSY, CALMING.

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All photos by Eva Shuan, with thanks.

This weekend, Stand 47 functioned like a retreat centre for its 2016 WinterTest guest. Eva Shuan is the Condé Nast Arts Editor for House & Garden magazine. We don’t actually know much more about her other than that. She is an extremely private person and her sensitivity toward beautiful and peaceful things made for an intriguing Winter Test guest.

Stand 47 : What was your first impression of the house and did anything specific catch your attention?

Eva: Very impressive both from outside and inside too. I could not believe all the incredible art and furniture that was inside. I certainly felt at home, very comfortable, and quite tempted to stay for good. It gives the feeling of being a soothing, cosy and calming home.

Stand 47 : How does the real thing compare with your expectations?

Eva: All I can say is, wow! The real thing exceeded my expectations.

Stand 47 : Tell us about a night at Stand 47. Give us details!

Eva: At 9 PM, the indoor temperature was just right at 22, while if I stepped outside it was an extremely chilly 10 degrees. I could not believe the difference! It felt like the house had central heating, but of course, there is none. On a scale of 1-10, I would say that I felt a maximum comfort level of 10.
41Stand 47 : What is your opinion of the home next morning?

Eva: I felt really well. I began to consider that this home has all the positive qualities of a museum, but one that I can live inside of. It is so quiet – much quieter than other houses I have lived in. It also makes me feel like I will be inspired and productive to live in a space like this.

 

Stand 47: Could you describe your favourite aspect of the home?

Eva: I enjoyed the openness of the living areas and the privacy of the bedrooms.

Stand 47: And finally, we have to know, would you live in a home like this?

Eva: Yes! Definitely.

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WANT TO UPGRADE YOUR HOME?

Copy of _98R2052Not everyone can afford to build a new home from scratch with the best performance materials available in the industry. Many families love their existing homes and would simply like to make them more comfortable.

Easier said than done. Until now. We want to show homeowners that they can retrofit their existing homes to be better and more comfortable without having to move.

To do this, we are looking for three homes that we can upgrade. We are asking you to submit your house until 31 August 2016 with the aim of being selected to receive one of three upgrades by 30 September 2016 – two comfort packs valued at R2500.00 and R15000.00 respectively, and R250000.00 for an all round comfort upgrade.

The all round comfort upgrade will use state-of-the-art Saint-Gobain building materials designed to improve comfort in a home in five areas – improved indoor temperature performance (thermal comfort), increased savings (economic comfort), less noise (audio comfort), better indoor air quality (air comfort) and interiors that increase a sense of calm and well-being (visual comfort). By upgrading the walls, ceilings, and insulation, the overall comfort will be increased. This house will be digitally monitored until 31 December 2016 to test the improved performance of the home after the upgrade.

To submit your home, please go to our new dedicated website and follow the prompts: www.upgrademyhome.co.za