The Story of The Sample Library

"The Sample Library" - Photograph by Barry Goldman

This project was designed by architect Joe van Rooyen of JVR Architects and interior designer Julia Day of Generation to create inspiration to all that “inhabit” it through a meticulous layering of design language, that appeals to the vision in all of us. A place where our visitors can experience beauty in their daily lives.


The perfect choice to achieve the outcome was architect, Joe van Rooyen, who specialises in high-end residential architectural design. Joe’s focus is on timeless, personalised, elegant design. His mantra, “Design excellence is what I strive for”, can be seen in the show space - particularly in the beautiful detailing of the custom-made floor, the overall layout and carefully chosen finishes. JVR has a rich history of creating some of the most beautiful homes built for discerning clients throughout South Africa.

JVR Architects: Joe van Rooyen, Ragner & Christine Havinga


“The Sample Library” implies a physical place, an intimate creative environment in which people can imagine themselves. We believe that architectural and interior spaces are a physical interchange of our internal worlds. “The Sample Library” is an installation filled with things that delight us, a real interaction which creates an emotional as well as physical experience of beauty.


Working together with Joe on the concept was interior designer, and owner of Hyde Park design store Generation, Julia Day. Julia is well known for her bespoke interior solutions which seek out only the best in interior design. Her passion for collaborating with clients in creating spaces that are authentic and of an international standard has a history going back 27 years in the South African design industry. Her design store carries international brands De Padova, Lampe Gras and Seletti - all whose histories are based on crafted luxury dating back as far as 1921.

Generation: Julia Day & Duncan Kriek

The stand reflects the architects process in creativity. A point to start from in which inspiration is taken from natural products like wood, steel, leather and clay. A humane process where the physical relationship exists between the raw material and the creator – this is called crafted design. Unexpected outcomes of physical mediums allow designers to discover what a design could and should be and helps the resulting delivery feel less manipulated. The luxurious outcome of the natural patina of leather fixed to the raw stainless steel frame as seen on the featured LLO4 chaise by designer Maarten Van Severen for De Padova, the crafting of the architects scale models out of exotic timber, which are displayed on the stand, from chisels and coach building tools used in the early 1900’s by Make and Forest Flooring, nothing has been left to chance as Joe and Julia have woven together what can only be described as an ingenious space interlocked with sensitivity and longevity that inspires creativity.

To create this crafted concept, we collaborated with both South African brands Forest Flooring, Rubio Monocoat, Make and Pazz Design and international brands De Padova, Lampe Gras lighting. It was imperative to work with these amazing brands whose history and design ethic mirrored our ideal.


William Combrinck the talent behind Forest Flooring’s genius can be seen in the curved solid vintage oak herringbone wall and floor which will set the stage for this unique space. Sourced from Powes Castle in Wales this 150-year-old timber discovered in its raw state will be hued by hand and bent through traditional ply bending techniques by the Forest Flooring’s team of craftsmen. The floor will be brushed to give it a texture look and finished in Rubio Monocoat. William a Master Pattern Maker with more than 30 years’ experience will create this hand sculptured solution demonstrating what he is best known for in the industry - the ultimate in bespoke flooring.

Forest Flooring & Rubio Monocoat: William Combrinck

The centre piece of the stand a “Cabinet of Curiosities” is designed by Marcus Pieterse of Make. A well-known South African product designer, his attention to detail, quality and use of honest materials helps make his work stand apart in his obvious use of high end finishes and his super slick rendition of his client’s brief. Marcus’s inspiration for the architect’s cabinet stems from the return to the use of furniture to tell a story. A beautifully designed piece which displays the history behind the architect’s journey in his Sample Room. The piece is designed to encompass storage space for books, memories and found objects. Produced by Make’s traditionally trained cabinet makers, whose craft is past down from generation to generation, this piece is a result of the ultimate in a bespoke timeless collection of furniture.

Make: Marcus Pieterse 

Sven Magnussen of Pazz Design is the creator of the envelope which houses "The Sample Library". Sven is a known craftsman who has mastered the time honoured tradition of forging steel into a work of beauty. He has brought Joe's architectural design to life through transforming an empty space into a beautiful library, using raw structural I beams and rectangular tubing along with the reinterpretation Manhattan Loft style doors and windows into the architecture of space. 

Pazz Design: Sven Magnussen 

Photographs by Barry Goldman