Building Styles

The lush tropical climate of Bali resulted in a very distinctive architecture with the use of large, pitched roof overhangs, lots of wood and bamboo finishes. These traditional elements have been reinterpreted in modern dwellings with tropical landscape settings, court yards, swimming pools and Koi ponds. The combination of stone and plastered and painted walls in earthy colours blends well with clay or concrete roof tiles and even thatch roofs. Detailed plasterwork such as a plinth and bands around window openings painted in a darker colour add some substance to the design. Floor finishes range from wood, terra cotta and even stone and tinted cement. The style is equally suitable for the South African Climate and has been growing in popularity. 
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After the Post-Modern and Deconstructivism era of the Seventies and Eighties a different kind of dynamic modern style developed which can best be described as Contemporary. It is more expressive in terms of form, function and use of materials. A diversity of materials and finishes is associated with the Contemporary style, such as pitched sheet metal, or concrete roof tiles in combination with flat concrete roofs. Walls can be a combination of glass, brick or stone panels alternating to express a functional interaction between internal and external spaces. Clever interaction of the structure sometimes create the effect of a floating balcony floor or a floating roof, extracted from the solid structures by seemingly invisible glass panels which in turn can create variable internal volumes. Solid wall panels can be pierced with small windows to create a rhythm of light holes in a wall. The use of either wood or aluminium can successfully complete the intricate combination of materials of this style.
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The modern movement started as early as the 1920's with the establishment of the Bauhaus movement in Germany. The style has evolved continuously over many years and in South Africa it is still a popular style. The distinctive elements of this style are the flat roof and plastered and white painted wall finishes, relatively large window openings in aluminium frames. The appearance is a cubistic form with varying roof heights resulting in different internal volumes. The flat roof allows the plan form to be any shape and can lead to interesting external spaces and court yards.
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The Modern Classic design evolved as a modern version of the historical Cape Dutch style. The distinctive elements of this style are the prominent pitched roofs, charcoal coloured roof tiles such as slate or flat profile concrete or fibre cement, white painted walls with plain gable walls, large window openings with small rectangular window panes in wood or steel and terra cotta coloured floor and paving finishes.
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Thatch is the oldest roofing material in South Africa and is still popular to create an African feel to a building. The versatility of the material lends itself to combine with any building style. A thatch roof combine well with a number of wall finishes such as stone, textured plaster and paint and even carefully chosen face brick as well as a combination of any of these. Wooden window frames blend well with a thatch roof, but steel or aluminium can also be used successfully provided the colour is carefully selected to combine with the specific style. The advantage of the organic nature of a thatch roof is that it can fit onto virtually any plan form such as a circle or semi-circle etc.
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With the growing interest in Eco Tourism in South Africa, there has been substantial growth in accommodation in Nature reserves, private as well as national parks. Some interesting designs ranging from the popular thatch roof to stunning contemporary designs have been erected. The designs displayed here are mostly suitable for smaller enterprises with a central entertainment area and chalets with en suite bedrooms with a private patio that can be scattered at random in the bush depending on the topography. The style is thatch roof with a combination of stone and textured plaster wall finish with wooden window and door frames.
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The term Colonial refers to an extended period in history of several countries in the world when the influence of a number of mostly European countries spread across the world. Architecture was one of these influences. Various styles have developed and the dark green pitched metal roofs, white fascias, red face brick with white plaster surrounds and decorative steel balustrades is a good reflection of one of the colonial styles from the Victorian era. Windows are white painted wood or steel. The plan form is normally a classic symmetrical shape.
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The Traditional style is an economical, plain and conservative style with a pitched tile or sheet metal roofing, a combination of face brick and plastered wall finishes and steel window frames. The plan form is usually simple to allow for an economical roof design.
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