House Chidi, Copperleaf Golf Estate, South Africa
The Story of House Chidi, was a long one, in fact both my Client and I will both agree, it was hard work getting this house through the planning process.
However with perseverance (& a wee bit of the luck of the Irish French and some fast talking by Chidi and his lovely wife), we finally were able to submit the plans for this house for approval at Centurion Town Council in Pretoria. The house is actually credited to an Architect called Bill Ellis, I had to sign over the work to him at the last minute. At this stage I did not care, the end was in sight (or is that site?).
The House was finally approved through both Estate and Municipal approval in July 2016, when the Occupation Certificate had been issued.
I spoke to Chidi last weekend at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon. He was good enough to take the call... Anyway when I told him of the logistical reasons for me not bringing around that bottle of champagne, he graciously agreed to send me some pictures. I think Chidi is a better photographer than me though (and he definitely has a better camera!).
Here is Chidi with me on a Site Meeting :-
Chidi is an Engineer and works for a rather large Engineering Firm, an international one. His wife is a professional quantity surveyor and also works for a big company. They have two beautiful daughters who were essentially born during this whole process!
We spent a lot of time on site. This is the view looking down to the street, about halfway up the site. There is quite a steep drop. The foundations took a lot of time. This was great though as I got to drive around in my car Blue Designs (aka Larry the Lounge Lizard) and hang out with the boys in Blue on a Building Site.
I made a point of never wearing appropriate site clothing. I had a rather nice pair of boots (that were not leather, but they looked like leather), quite new and I trashed them on this site! And guess what Mr Health and Safety - I did not come to any harm at all. Not even a paper cut!
Yup- Foundations, boys in blue with yellow stripes on their legs and little white helmets labouring in the sun. Why they can't wear big hats anymore at this stage is beyond me. It was very, very hot.
It was hard though, the foundations towards the top of the property (by the Golf Course) were considerably deeper than what was thought. There was a problem with our Geo-Technical Information. The Municipal, National Archive and Estate surveys were all incorrect. Chidi even hired his own Land Surveyor.
The Foundations became quite expensive.
Now this looks fun eh? Well it's not so fun when it's about 33 degrees centigrade in the shade and you are in full sun, on a building site on a golf course. I knew they wouldn't let me have a go. It was very very hot. I had my silly hat on, the big turquoise straw hat with a very wide floppy brim. Even if I borrowed one of the guy's helmets and pretended I knew what I was doing, I couldn't.
Just want to make something absolutely, abundantly clear. Chidi is a tall man, about 6'2" tall. These are high, high ceilings - 3.6m in some places, this was so we did not have to have steps on the first floor as well as the ground floor.
This tidied up and rather grainy side elevation will give you more of an idea of the level changes from back to front (or is that front to back?).
The Golf Course side is on the left and the street is on the right. The Ground does continue to rise and fall, it's a big stand on the Golf Course!
Don't forget it took a long time to get to this bit, even on the building site.
Here's the view of the Golf Course, complete with nets.
Finally it's done!
Thank you so much Chidi for sending these lovely pictures through! As you know I don't do many interior shots of the super structure, I am not an interior designer!
P.S. You will not find copies of these plans on the Blue Designs Website, this house is not specially featured on the website. I do not reproduce house plans, I design new ones each time.
Each house is 'off the cuff'.
So there is no point is there Chidi? In fact the links on my Building Site Visits Page will take you straight to this article!
Call Claire - 011 025 4458
I love Architecture. I think it's vital to talk about all aspects of Architecture - whether it be planning, construction, design or green building. I have written 3 E-Books & over 110 articles. Please feel free to let me know if you have any queries regarding architecture, planning & construction & I will assist you.
I am originally from the UK and moved to South Africa in 1999. I started Blue Designs in 2004 after working as a driver for Avalon Construction on a luxury home in the Featherbrook Estate. In my spare time I am an artist and writer.
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