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.
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 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.
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 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 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.