House of the Big Arch – Podcast

In this episode George talks to Ant from Frankie Pappas Architects in South Africa. They have recently been voted as one of the top 20 emerging architects in the world. They describe themselves as a collective and their mantra is ‘wonderfully similar, incredibly different’

Their homes are predominantly located in remote rural areas of South Africa and are nestled and submerge in their surrounding landscapes. They are like no other houses you have ever seen, and actually that’s the beauty of some of them, you can’t really see them. Like the people that designed them, they are an enigma.

House of the Big Arch is completely nestled in the trees of a Nature Reserve, with terraces overlooking the surrounding canopy. The entrance is tall and narrow like a trunk and the strange and familiar shapes of the property weave between the trees, like an old Roman ruin, leaving you asking the question, what came first, the building or the foliage? The predominant material is brick in a tone that matches and blends with the surrounding wood. From the air, the property is barely perceptible, from inside, the occupants can enjoy all layers of the forest, with terraces at the same height of the roof canopy.

At the end of the interview George asks Ant the three questions he asks all of his guests; what is the one thing that annoys him in his home, what home has he visited that has made him feel happy and, if he could choose anyone to design him a house, who would he choose?