This four bedroom, 3-bath home in bryanston with a 25m pool and double story studio reveals the the quintessence of Mullin House design. Drawing architectural inspiration from Tadao Ando - integrating a lot of exposed concrete, glazing and stone-work the building embodies a raw industrial sophistication.
Every design choice at the Bryanston home was about creating clear visual space so that the eye would be drawn towards the owner's superb collection of rare art.
The second story was designed to create a feeling of tree-top living. We used floor to ceiling glazing to clad the entire front facade, allowing light to pour into the space. We then worked with complex cantilever mechanisms to give the illusion that the roof is floating.
We employed nondescript, minimal furnishings to emphasise and draw focus towards the natural world beyond the walls and the stunning collection of art in the space, including three life-size Nelson Makamo portraits, works by Bonnie Walters, Diane Victor and Louis Olivier. All of the modular shelving units in the home were created by Rimadessio. Bulthaup designed and installed the kitchens and the studio was furnished by Gregor Jenkins. In this way we were able to display all of the top suppliers that Mullin House draws upon to create unforgettable spaces.
Isles of Africa
One of the only six-star lodges in the world Isles of Africa comprises four different lodges on the four borders of South Africa - Botswana, Zambia, Namibia & Zimbabwe. One of them is an island saddling both borders - completely surrounded by rivers on all sides. Needless to say that this was an extremely difficult installation and involved us transporting everything in and out by boat, disassembling and reassembling furniture on the island with the only electricity coming from generators and with very limited supplies. The clients wanted easy-wearing fabrics, as the lodge is exposed to the elements, and a sense of privacy for each of the individual chalets.
They wanted the style in keeping with a typical lodge aesthetic - using earthy tones and oranges, cognac leathers and Kudu hides to bring the wilderness outside, in. Heavy furnishings were also necessary as they prevented destruction by hippos or elephants. We also couldn’t use any object which might serve as a hiding place for snakes. While we didn’t have capacity to change any physical structures due to the limited expertise and scope of the project - we were thrilled with the aesthetic upgrade, and to work on such a spectacular place - nestled on an Island between two wild worlds - was a privilege.
Illuso are importers of the finest European furniture available in the world. Their showroom in Kramerville is an absolute sensory feast to behold. We often use Illuso furniture in our designs and so they turned to us when seeking curtains to compliment their space. We had to choose fabrics and a finishing style that would compliment a showroom environment where designs and pieces change at a seasonal rate.
Something which would disappear, while simultaneously complimenting every piece, and adding a homeliness to the space. We stuck with wave tracks - a clean finish - and did half with only sheer fabric and half with sheer and blockout treatments to blackout light where necessary. We were extremely happy with how the space turned out. The sheer fabric we selected was thick and natural yet effortlessly elegant - adding a floaty ethereal feel while simultaneously feeling luxurious.
The Workhorse Bronze Foundry
Serving as a Home and workshop to one of our favourite South African artists and sculptures, Louis Olivier, the Workhouse Bronze Foundry is one of the oldest buildings in Johannesburg and boasts the oldest lift still in operation in the entire city. We were approached by the artist to establish a sense of softness and coherence, while still honouring the history and rawness of the building.
We had to use existing furniture which was scattered around Oliviers’ factory - selecting pieces to refurbish and repurpose - changing the stain, redoing the upholstery etc.. We then added in a few of our modern, plush pieces to create an eclectic feel; playing with the disparity between industrial height ceilings, raw walls, life size bronze sculptures and soft furnishings.
We also sought to emphasise, instead of disguise, the messy elements of the space, as we understood that the nature of Louis’s work would soon see chaos reign once more. Louis has the tendency to draw on walls creating art works within the moment- so we arranged furniture to frame these sketches - being led by the artists creativity. In terms of furnishing and colour we used delicate lighting, chairs and couches to soften the strength and heaviness of the building and dark strong colours to compliment and play off the bronze tones in his sculpture. This project was exceedingly challenging yet immensely fun and it was a true honour to work with such an esteemed artist and redesign an architectural icon of Johannesburg city.