PRICE : R 4 400 000 – Full title, serviced land;  Including VAT and transfer costs

An ancient stone wall leads you into the site, up in the crook of a wooded stream enfolded by grassy hills. Timeless patterns of grassland and riverine bush evoke a sense of waiting. Sandstone slabs lie in the grass, and an unusually large tree strawberry suggests ancient habitation. Flowers of African indigo, mauve Sutera and sweet smelling num-num draw green banded swallowtail and orange Acrea butterflies.

The small stream is shaded by tall river bush-willow and lavender trees. Little waterfalls tumble over a dyke of ancient conglomerate rock; a strangler fig holds a robin’s nest; delicate red irises shimmer in dappled sunlight.

Secluded stream on the building footprint; view immediately to the south.

Approaching this site up-stream, from the north, presents the illusion of a natural cul-de-sac. A small hill fits like a chock-stone between the grassy sides of the valley. A dark strip of forest squeezes through, delivering one of the important headwater sources for Hyslop’s Creek. The site lies in grassland where the forested stream flows through the neck. A dyke causes pools and waterfalls under a tangle of Dalbergia vines suspended from tall figs and waterberries.

The framed northern view

The footprint of the site fits neatly into a self-defining space on the east bank of the stream. An extension of the ancient rock wall skirts the hill like an archaeological puzzle piece. The proximity of the forest edge provides two contrasting outlooks;  grassy hillside to the east, and forested stream to the west. Between them, the perfectly framed view to the north presents the elegantly draped slopes of the Wonderscheur range, alternating grassy ridge and forested hollow. To the south loom the high krantzes of the Saddleback range.

Feature trees, such as the spreading rock fig (Ficus glumosa) high up on the western slope and the gnarled tree strawberry beside the route provide interest, and fruit for redwing starlings dropping in from their high rocky roosting sites. Access to the site is strictly confined to the north facing valley, a designers challenge to hide it in the rise and fall of the grassy drainage lines.

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