• An architecture studio has designed an off-grid home that appears to float amid the tree canopy of a South African nature reserve.
  • Called The House of the Big Arch, the home is just 3 metres in parts.
  • Johannesburg-based Frankie Pappas designed the home, at the request of its owners, to leave the surrounding sandstone cliffs and forest intact.
  • Take a look inside the seriously skinny structure, which comes with a firepit, open-air timber bridges, and an above-ground pool.
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Frankie Pappas, an architecture studio based in Johannesburg, has designed a home in the bushveld that's virtually invisible to the untrained eye.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


Called The House of the Big Arch, it weaves between the red sandstone cliffs and riverine forest of the Waterberg Reserve about three hours north of the city.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


At the owners' request, the studio took care to respect the surrounding environment when building the home.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


Before embarking on the project, Frankie Pappas laser-scanned the entire site and used the resulting 3D 'digital forest' to inform the design.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


"Any funky bulges and protrusions in the plan of the building were dictated by where trees allowed us to build," the team wrote in their project description, noting that no trees were demolished during construction.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


The result is a long, custom, and seriously skinny building that appears to float through the tree canopy.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


Past the entrance, the house is just 3.4 metres wide.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


The main level includes a sunlit lounge, dining room, and kitchen.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


There is also a kitchen, outdoor deck, and small pool, which is supported by an arch after which the house is named.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


Timbered wood bridges connect different sections of the building.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


The ground floor includes multiple courtyards plus a study, library, and small swing bench.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


Downstairs, a cellar keeps wine and cured meats cool.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


Due to its remote location, the home is off-grid, relying on rainwater collection and solar panels.

Source: The House of the Big Arch


"This building is a careful and direct response to this particular portion of this particular riverine forest of this particular portion of the Waterberg of this particular portion of the Bushveld," the studio wrote. "This architecture could exist nowhere else in the world.

Source: The House of the Big Arch