KZN Midlands Gated Estate
River Goose Estate is one of the most beautiful Gated Estate sites in the KZN Midlands. It is situated approximately 20 minutes from Pietermaritzburg’s CBD, along the N3 North / West. The site also forms part of the Midlands Meander as it is located within the precinct of Howick in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
The Howick area, with its ideal climatic and environmental conditions, is perfect for the location for an estate which encompasses indigenous grassland with a beautiful river, and is in close proximity to schools, hospitals and shopping centres. Hence, the creation of “River Goose Estate”.
The main access to the Estate will be via a security-feature Gatehouse, designed in the architectural language of the development.
Individual home owners are encouraged to include portions of their property into the “green belt”, which will enhance an inside/outside relationship with the environment.
Each building will be designed around the natural topography of the site and positioned in such a way as to maximize the spectacular views of the open space and the river. The site has an exceptional aspect which is north-facing and is thus bathed in afternoon sun. Plus, it has a natural storm water run-off towards the river.
Access to individual plots will be via asphalt and grass- block roads and pavements.
CONTEMPORARY LIFESTYLE SECURE ESTATE
The theme of the architecture is based primarily on external colour and style. All building façades are to be predominantly off-white while roofs are to be in dark grey tones.
The aesthetics and integrity of the River Goose Estate will be controlled from inception to completion by means of the architectural committee which will include the submitting Architect as well as another Architect from the panel and the developer. The Estate’s prescribed development guidelines which are set out in this document, as well as the rules and regulations, to follow, will incorporate all aspects of the development to ensure compliance for the ongoing management of the Estate that is during and after completion.
The placement of buildings, trees and other landscape features (including ponds, fountains, view decks, fences, etc.) will be considered in relation to each other and the primary building. The views, privacy of residents and the natural environment as a whole will be taken into account when the architectural committee approves submission plans. Ideally the homes furthers from the river should be double storey, the intermediate sites single storey plus the option of a loft and the front sites all single storey.
Attention to detail will be visible throughout the Estate with carefully designed and positioned elements (manholes, lampposts, signage, drainage systems, etc). Service elements, such as electricity transformers, will be also be concealed with selective planting so that views remain unspoilt.
THE RIVER GOOSE ESTATE ENVIRONMENT
The landscape at River Goose Estate as it exists will be aesthetically, functionally and environmentally responsive to the built environment. Nearly forty percent of the site will remain “green” and this is what makes the development so unique.
Our primary objective is to create an environment in which the experience of daily life is enhanced by interaction with the natural setting of the indigenous grassland. This sensitive integration of buildings into the natural environment will result in their co-existence and ultimately in the long-term regeneration of the existing eco-system.
Rehabilitation work to reinstate indigenous plants will be undertaken in the development to create natural boundaries between plots. The careful positioning and maintenance of avenues of trees together with, bush and groundcover, will provide the density and privacy required, thereby negating the need for high boundary walls between plots. This will further enhance the perception that homes have been built in established and rich indigenous grassland.
The buildings will be designed as functional components, allowing plants to grow into the spaces…separation between the interior and exterior will be blurred, while maximizing every building’s view of both the Estate and the surrounding grassland.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF RIVER GOOSE ESTATE
Our vision is to create a series of sculptural elements arranged strategically in space, using historical icons as references and natural materials as tools, to create a holistic South African experience.
Non standard windows and doors are strongly encouraged. Plaster-bands around these windows in a slightly different texture and / or colour should be seen externally. Garage doors should be recessed back a minimum of six metres from the streets and where ever possible include an open pergola to distract from the monotony of endless double garages. Primary roofs should be symmetrically gabled with a pitch between 22,5 and 45 degrees. Secondary roofs may be mono pitched.
All buildings will be constructed of natural materials and finishes, colours and textures should enhance visual quality where possible. They should age and further blend with the environment. The architectural language is natural, understated and contemporary, while engaging with the nature of the site. Veranda’s facing the northern aspect and river would be most welcome. Typical Natal Veranda and Victorian detail should not attempt to be copied, but rather emulate the form, shape and outline.
Architectural details should be kept restrained and functional, allowing lines to remain clean and uncluttered. Simple roofs with deeper overhangs will provide the protection and shade, and will further blur the transition from interior and exterior. Authentic stone is permissible to cill height or in isolated corner or lintel detail. Vermont cladding is quite acceptable in loft and double storey houses above wall plate and on dormer windows and gable ends. Inexpensive details such as a circular gable vent and a wooden spire / finial can make a big difference to “bland” design.
Pergolas and decks are to be constructed from natural timbers, which will be left to weather and age. Surfaces and edges will be natural and soft, and where possible, textured natural materials, gravel and loose paving will be used. Picket fences are strongly encouraged for boundary restraints, as are bag washed brick walls. No pre-cast fences are permitted.
Buildings will be skilfully positioned to create simple “streetscapes” while ensuring private spaces for the residents to retreat into. The numbering and road signage should be uniform through out the development
The architectural language is low-key, elegant and timeless, with well proportioned and generous spaces which incorporate light and relate to the natural environment. All drawings will have to be approved by the Aesthetics’ committee prior to submission.
Through careful planning what is now indigenous grassland will become a unique environment. By protecting and rehabilitating the existing area, a calm and tranquil place will be created which will provide residents with a completely unique lifestyle experience.