Lanseria Estate Home

PHOTOS Greg Cox/Bureaux WORDS Graham Wood

A contemporary house with views of the Magaliesberg and Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy offers an upbeat take on eco-conscious living.

When architect Gillian Holl set about designing a house for the generous piece of paradise she shares with her husband Ivan, an engineer, and son Noah, one of her first considerations was to create a space that did not simply blend in with the surrounding grasslands and Magaliesberg foothills, but was actually knitted into the landscape.

To this end, the Holls excavated to allow the steel-framed building with floating concrete slabs and swathes of glass to settle unobtrusively on the riverside terrain. But estate regulations required all excavated earth remain on-site – and even after creating the grassy berms that hug the garden, there was still plenty left over. The solution? A central rammed-earth wall that forms an axis from the entrance all the way through the airy house.

Lanseria Estate
A cantilevered concrete canopy provides shelter as you approach the front door along a path and a bridge over a koi pond.

That is coupled with well-proportioned courtyards and walkways that create exterior rooms, making for harmonious indoor-outdoor living. And ample opportunity for the family to enjoy exceptional views of the setting sun.

Visit to see more of Gillian and her team’s projects.

Looking for more architectural inspiration? Take a look at another eco-friendly home in Lanseria.