Architects: Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects
Location: The Robberg, Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route, South Africa
Design Team: Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl, Bobby Hugill
Interior Design: Daniela Priebatsch, Emi Cavalieri
Photographs: Courtesy of SAOTA
The clients requested a 6-bedroomed family home with understated elegance and quiet grandeur, indoor / outdoor living spaces and uninterrupted views, with a ”lived-in beach-house” feel.
The beach-front site falls within a pristine and unique environment, nestled at the foot of the Robberg. With direct access to a strip of idyllic beach, it is characterized by its rolling dunes and the dense indigenous vegetation of extraordinary variety, including a well establish Milkwood thicket. Thesite is subject to hot summers and moderate winters, with a cooling on-shore breeze, from the North East. Taking advantage of the large dune across the majority of the site, the views were maximised by elevating the living levels to above natural ground level, terracing built forms down the dune.
The design incorporates large glazed areas and extensive use of outdoor spaces, with each aspect of the house having a terrace or deck. The linear open plan composition of the interior spaces allows views from every room. To take advantage of the sea and distant mountain views, while providing protection from the extremes of climate, the living spaces were designed with South West/North East orientations. Sculptured rectangular forms, linear elements, large areas of horizontal glazing, timber cladding and expansive external terraces are the principal elements of the design.Externally the natural fynbos was brought up to the house achieving a feeling that the house is set in nature and does not disturb the natural beauty.
The simple choice of materials complements the sculptural form of the house. The flooring is of large format leather finish Neo Sardo Granite throughout the house, alongside painted walls and ceilings. The principal neutral elements are complemented by the natural timber shutters, screens and pergola. These will mature in time to a silver-grey colour. Each bathroom is characterised by walls clad in granite to match the floors, frameless glass shower enclosures and white Corian vanities. The master bedroom is finished with white oiled Oak flooring with feature granite, tying it back to the rest of the house.
The key to this retreat is its simplicity in terms of the relationship between spaces. Its floor plan is structured, sparse and uncluttered.