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Nkosi Residence

Project No. 006

The Nkosi Residence project is about re-imagining and re-thinking the four-room 'matchbox' house that typifies township architecture and culture. Working with a visionary client, our goal was to dismantle its apartheid legacy and meaning to the township space and hopefully inspire a new generation of architectural design and thinking eKasi.

Project Details


Project Type

Chiawelo, Soweto
90 m²


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Design Intent

The challenge was to completely redesign the house, make it feel "bigger" and spacious enough to entertain guests, and have ample outdoor gardens and spaces for kids, without extending or altering the physical footprint of the existing house.

In addition, the client wanted to include a detached guest cottage that could be rented out as an Airbnb or 'Backroom' rental.

The result is a family home with 3 distinct, multifunctional zones that add depth and dimension to the small footprint of the home.



The separate zones in the house are articulated and extended thanks to an intentional relationship with the boundary wall. At the core of the home is a skylight that stretches the full length of the corridor. Its main purpose is to accentuate the vaulted ceilings and flood the heart of the home with natural light.

The approach to materiality featured throughout the Nkosi Residence is a true reflection of our commitment and approach to design. Offering an endless experience of volume, scale and simple materiality, the house features a palette of evocative, tactile and timeless materials. Steel contrasts against concrete and textured plaster finishes; the recycled stone is paired against timber, and porcelain against polished brass, with all finishes working together to create a visual delight at every turn.

The Nkosi Residence has a unique visual character that is atypical of township homes of similar size and one that reflects our vision of a renewed township experience.


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