Holiday Home Manages To Embrace Nature In a Very Special Way

Every architecture project starts with a period of research meant to identify all the important aspects related to the site, the topography, the surroundings and the actual design direction to be followed. The owners of this holiday home from Pringle Bay, South Africa, has five years to think about all that. During this period they lived on the property and got to study in detail the relationship that they wanted between the house and the sun’s path as well as the views. After that, it was up to the architects at SAOTA to make those wishes come true.

This is a holiday home designed with careful consideration for the site, the topography and the viewsView in gallery
This is a holiday home designed with careful consideration for the site, the topography and the views
The relationship between the house and its immediate and distant surroundings is a very special oneView in gallery
The relationship between the house and its immediate and distant surroundings is a very special one
Being situated on the banks of a river, the house borrows calmness from its surroundings and also gets to frame some great viewsView in gallery
Being situated on the banks of a river, the house borrows calmness from its surroundings and also gets to frame some great views
The direct relationship between the indoor and outdoor zones is expressed in various different ways throughout the designView in gallery
The direct relationship between the indoor and outdoor zones is expressed in various different ways throughout the design

The house stands on the banks of the Buffels River and is facing North which allows it to make the most out of all the sunlight and the wonderful views. It was designed to serve as a weekend family retreat. With a total of 300 square meters of living space, the house is generous without being dramatic. Its architecture is clean and robust and the materials employed are chosen for their ability to withstand time and for their versatility.

The architecture and the design of the house were partially influenced by the tough coastal climateView in gallery
The architecture and the design of the house were partially influenced by the tough coastal climate
The outdoor living spaces are framed by columns and sheltered by roofs without feeling too artificial or disconnected from natureView in gallery
The outdoor living spaces are framed by columns and sheltered by roofs without feeling too artificial or disconnected from nature
The simplicity of the materials and of the color palette is extended in the outdoor lounge area as wellView in gallery
The simplicity of the materials and of the color palette is extended in the outdoor lounge area as well

The harsh coastal climate and the strong winds in particular restricted the architects in some ways but also inspired them in others. Ultimately, the perfect compromise was made: stylish outdoor living spaces sheltered and framed by roof extensions and columns while also able to dialogue with the lush vegetation and the beautiful landscape that surrounds them.

On the inside, the house is warm and welcoming but also sophisticated and simple, a balance achieved through eclecticismView in gallery
On the inside, the house is warm and welcoming but also sophisticated and simple, a balance achieved through eclecticism
At the heart of the house stand the kitchen and the lounge area which naturally extend onto terracesView in gallery
At the heart of the house stand the kitchen and the lounge area which naturally extend onto terraces
Although there's a slight different in floor level, the social areas flow seamlessly into one another forming one big and open spaceView in gallery
Although there’s a slight different in floor level, the social areas flow seamlessly into one another forming one big and open space

As far as the interior of the house is concerned, some notable design elements include the difference in floor level between the social spaces, the presence of full-height windows and sliding glass doors which capture the views and let the outdoors in as well as an array of carefully selected materials, colors and textures which are in perfect harmony with each other.

The ceiling was left bare, showcasing the raw concrete and contributing to the overall eclectic feel of the houseView in gallery
The ceiling was left bare, showcasing the raw concrete and contributing to the overall eclectic feel of the house
The island ensures a smooth transition between the kitchen and the lounge area, especially considering its bar extensionView in gallery
The island ensures a smooth transition between the kitchen and the lounge area, especially considering its bar extension
The minimalist and clean lines of the kitchen are complemented by warm and rich textures used throughout the living areaView in gallery
The minimalist and clean lines of the kitchen are complemented by warm and rich textures used throughout the living area

The kitchen and the lounge area occupy the center of the ground floor enjoying lots of natural sunlight brought in by the large stairwell as well as by the full-height windows. Additional living spaces are situated slightly below but more or less on the same floor plan. The areas flow seamlessly and ultimately form one large living space.

The artwork which adorns the walls is abstract in most cases and serves to balance out the neutral colors and to add playfulness to the decorView in gallery
The artwork which adorns the walls is abstract in most cases and serves to balance out the neutral colors and to add playfulness to the decor
The beautiful views of the mountain valley can be admired from the bedrooms which have their own way of bringing the outdoors inView in gallery
The beautiful views of the mountain valley can be admired from the bedrooms which have their own way of bringing the outdoors in
Large panorama windows and sliding glass doors lead out onto open terraces with transparent guardrailsView in gallery
Large panorama windows and sliding glass doors lead out onto open terraces with transparent guardrails

The overall impression is that of a very calm, welcoming and at the same time playful environment which connects all the social spaces on the ground floor, leaving the upper level dedicated to the private areas. The colors and the materials used throughout the rooms are neutral and simple and they’re complemented by the vibrant and fresh beauty of the views but also by a series of carefully-selected accent elements such as Moroccan rugs, terrazzo floors, bare concrete ceilings and designer furniture.

Even the bathrooms frame some really beautiful views of the river and the distant mountainsView in gallery
Even the bathrooms frame some really beautiful views of the river and the distant mountains
The interior design is simple, modern and sophisticated and this balance is maintained in all the rooms, this one includedView in gallery
The interior design is simple, modern and sophisticated and this balance is maintained in all the rooms, this one included