A lot of contemporary houses are designed to respond to the site rather than changing it to suit the design. There are many great examples and one of them is the Beachyhead home. This is a holiday house located in the Plettenberg Bay of South Africa.
The house was completed in 2014, being a project developed by SAOTA. The design and architecture studio is well-known around the world, featuring projects on five continents and owing this international success to the innovative and dedicated approach of the team.
Like we’ve already mentioned, this is a house designed to respond to its surroundings, in particular the views. An uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean can be enjoyed from the upper levels while the Outenique Mountains can be admired in the distance to the North.
The site on which the house was built was originally a dune and is sloped towards the back. This gives the house a rather misleading look. From the street, it looks like a modest home. However, to fully appreciate its size and the complexity of the design you must see it from the opposite side.
The clients wanted this to be a relaxing and comfortable holiday home , a pool house that would allow them to entertain large groups of guests but that would feel really cozy and intimate when they were the only ones around.
The views, the sunlight and the winds shaped the house and determined its orientation. Structurally speaking, the house is a box. It has a rather interesting design, featuring a rough concrete and stone shell on the lower portion and a wooden set of volumes on top.
The textured concrete section contrasts with the smooth timber frame, establishing a lovely balance and giving the house a well-defined and eye-catching look. The lower level housed within the concrete shell contains areas such as a game room, a large guest suite, a home theater and an array of service areas.
On top of these is the main social area. It’s an open volume with no supporting columns. It has timber shutters and sliding glass doors that connect it to the surroundings. A large fireplace with an oxidized copper finish doubles as a support structure for the upper level.
The interior décor in the living space is simple, dominated by neutral colors and textured finishes. Natural wood furniture, tree trunk coffee tables, wicker chairs and fabric-upholstered sofa create a very welcoming and comfortable ambiance.
The kitchen and dining space are strategically positioned so they serve both the interior living space and the courtyard lounge spaces. These spaces have a lower ceiling and a stylish wooden staircase that connects them to the upper level.
The social wing opens onto an exterior terrace and has a series of stone stairs that connect it to the lower deck and pool. The swimming pool sits flush with the terrace and the water is actually 22 mm above the surface, contained by a rim.
In the corner of the terrace there’s a fire pit. It’s a secluded and very cozy space, perfect for enjoying intimate gatherings or solitary moments. The courtyard has a pizza oven which in a way completes the indoor kitchen.
A series of staircase bookshelves separate the dining space from a smaller and more intimate lounge space which in turn opens onto an outdoor dining space on the terrace.
The sculptural stairs and chandelier mark the connection between the social zone and the bedroom wing placed above it. On the upper floor, a large hallway with large windows and beautiful wall décor connects the suites.
The bedrooms have panorama windows overlooking the ocean and timber shutters that can provide privacy and shade when needed. They’re not particularly spacious, the emphasis being on the views rather than the interior décor. All the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms with skylights and large mirrors that reflect the views.